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Apple Plans to launch iPhone trade-in program by September

By Vignesh Subramanyan | Small Business

Apple plans to introduce the iPhone trade-in program that will allow users to trade phones for upgrades at retail stores. The program allows users that own the earlier versions of the iPhone, such as the iPhone 4S, to exchange for a new IPhone model.

Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that he is not opposed to the strategy, “I see channels doing it, and I like the environmental aspect of it, and so that part of it really is encouraging to me,” he said. The new strategy is an attempt to bump up in-store sales because he does not feel the phone sales are healthy enough to Apple’s stores. With the ability to exchange an iPhone for a new model at a discounted price, the program will help Cook meet his goal of improving Apple store sales.

However, the trade-in program is already being piloted in some Apple stores. Those stores have been offering trade-in for quite some time and have been processing multiple trade-ins a day. Apple also has a mail only recycling program, but it does not allow trade-ins in Apple stores. The new program can value phones based on the device color, physical damage, and liquid damage. The value range for 16GB iPhone 4 and 4S models is said to be around $120-200 and for a 16GB iPhone 5 about $250.

The condition of the phone is checked in-store by an Apple employee who asks questions about the device. The employee then makes an offer and adds the credit to a gift card, which is used to purchase an upgraded phone at a discount price. If there is a balance left over on the gift card, then the customer takes the new phone and card with them. However, the trade-in program requires customers to get a new phone, so users can’t just trade in phones for a gift card.

The new iPhone is expected to launch in the U.S. around September 10.

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