By Max Clarke

With the imminent release of the new iPhone 5, eBay predicts up to a 70% rise in sales of previous models like the iPhone 4. The online marketplace saw a similar trend last year when the iPhone 4 went on sale, lowering the price and increasing the accessibility of earlier iPhone models which led to a surge in sales.

More than half a million iPhones have been sold via the UK online marketplace since they were launched — including brand new and used phones. In the UK last year, an iPhone was sold via eBay UK approximately every two minutes. In Q2 this year, iPhone was searched for over 18 million times across eBay’s European sites alone.

eBay expects the launch of the iPhone 5 to stimulate sales growth in the smartphone market as a whole, not just for the new model. The online marketplace is predicting sales of the existing iPhone 4 model to strengthen, with a surge in the run-up to Christmas. During last year’s festive season, sales of the iPhone 3G exceeded the iPhone 4 as shoppers look for great deals rather than the most up-to-date model.

“Our figures show that savvy shoppers are ready and waiting to get their hands on the iPhone 4 at a cut down price,” said Angus McCarey, Retail Director for eBay UK. “The UK leads Europe in terms of smartphone adoption, which is helping to drive the triple digit growth of mobile shopping on eBay. Mobile is fundamentally changing retail as shoppers can now browse and shop on and offline in a seamless way.”

As more and more consumers own smartphones, eBay continues to see significant growth in sales through its mobile platforms. Mobile sales now account for 10% of all purchases on eBay UK and eBay mobile apps have been downloaded over 47 million times globally.

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