Apple is starting an iPhone trade-in program this month that will theoretically encourage users to upgrade to newer models, reports Bloomberg.
This would mark the first time that Apple offered such a program to upgrade to new iPhone models, though it has offered some incentives for user to recycle their devices for credit.
Bloomberg says that the new program is being run in a partnership with Brightstar Corp., a third-party exchange service.
If the program comes to fruition, it would offer them several distinct benefits. Obviously it would be able to handle the conversion process from one phone to another more directly, without a ‘cash’ intermediary. This would provide a direct correlation between phones traded in and phones sold. Doing it themselves (via the Brightstar partnership) could also allow them to do it right at Apple Retail stores, rather than online, but there’s no mention of that in the report.
Apple’s Reuse and Recycle program allows you to trade in an iPhone 4S, or other model, for instance. You select a device in an online wizard, which gives you what it thinks your device is worth. As of late last year, recent iPhones still fetched several hundred dollars, though the process was handled by third-party PowerOn. Of course, other retailers like Best Buy have also offered similar programs that gave a set amount of cash for an iPhone and had customers pay the difference.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the matter, and will update this story if we receive one.
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