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Study: $47 Billion Worth Of Cell Phones Collecting Dust

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Apple iPhone 5s (credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Apple iPhone 5s (credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – A new study has found billions of dollars in cell phones are collecting dust.

According to the data from the annual “Mobile Mountain Study” conducted for mobile resale site SellCell.com, thousands of used iPhones in America are sitting in consumer’s drawers that are worth $47 billion in trade-in value.

“Americans are still unaware of the money they can make by trading in their old mobile,” Keir McConomy, founder of SellCell.com, told MarketWatch.

Fifty-one million iPhones were sold by Apple in the most recent quarter, according to the company’s earning report.  A January survey found that nearly 50 percent of people say they keep their old phones in a box, drawer or cupboard at home.  That’s a five percent decrease from those who were asked the same question last year.

Roughly 20 percent of Americans who did not trade in their phone said they gave them to a family member or a friend, while 12 percent donated the phone to a charity and 9 percent of people said they just simply throw them in the trash.

When Americans were asked why they don’t trade in their cell phones, 20 percent said they were “too lazy” and 40 percent said they wanted to have back-up phone in case something went wrong with their current phone.  Lastly, 36 percent of people said they weren’t aware of trade in programs for cell phones. 

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