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T-Mobile wants you to trade in your old iPhone, but is it a good deal?


T-Mobile is doing everything it can to tempt customers at other carriers to switch over. The company recently killed the contract, and now it's talking up a deal where owners of an iPhone 4 or 4S can upgrade to an iPhone 5 for no money up front. But is it really worth doing?

The T-Mobile deal is that you bring in your iPhone, and the company knocks off the $100 you'd have to pay up front for the iPhone 5 — plus up to $120 more in credit, depending on the condition and storage level of your device.

Not bad if you favor simplicity. But $220 is a bit of a low figure for, say, a 16GB iPhone 4S. A quick look at Craigslist and eBay shows them being sold for twice that.

If you're really looking to turn your current iPhone into cash, it would be wise to at least look at the other options first. If no one wants to buy at your price or you're not comfortable selling via Craigslist, try a buyback service: Gazelle, NextWorth, BuyBackWorld, and eBay all offer quick quotes. If you don't like what you see, T-Mobile's no-fuss deal is a good backup plan.

The iPhone 5 will be available at T-Mobile April 12.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is