In line with our earlier report, Apple has just kicked off a big iPhone trade-in event at its U.S. retail stores that will see employees pushing upgrade offers for the iPhone 5s and 5c. We first reported on details of the event earlier this week noting Apple would add improved trade in options and significantly step up promotion of iPhone trade-ins during the initiative . Specifically, Apple has sent out a memo to Apple Store staff instructing them to push upgrades to iPhone 4 and 4s users with increased trade-in values. The company has also started contacting customers by email and promoting the event with new signage in its retail stores.

“It’s a beautiful time for an upgrade. You may be eligible for upgrade pricing on a new iPhone. And if you bring in your old iPhone to be recycled, you could get credit toward a new one. Ask us for details.”

A beautiful time indeed to push upgrades and sell as many iPhone 5s and 5c units before Apple’s big iPhone 6 upgrade later this year. Here’s a copy of the email that Apple started sending out yesterday, May 8th:

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 4.48.03 PM

Apple is getting employees to check customers’ eligibility for an upgrade, inform them about the iPhone Reuse and Recycling program and push recently increased trade-in values for iPhone 4s and iPhone 4. Apple is now offering up to $99 for an iPhone 4 and $199 for an iPhone 4s. With that value put toward the purchase of a new iPhone 5s, Apple is promoting the deal as being able to upgrade to an iPhone 5s for as little as $0. iLounge first posted images of the memo about the new prices to Apple Store employees.

In addition to getting employees to promote the trade-in event in stores, Apple is also sending out emails to eligible iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 customers we’ve learned.

Apple is launching the initiative ahead of its next-gen iPhone launch expected this fall that’s rumored to be a notable update with redesigned hardware sporting a larger screen size and updated internals. The latest rumors claim Apple could launch two new iPhone sizes and release at least one of them as early as August.

In other Apple retail news, we reported today that Apple has started transitioning Apple Store employees from the old iPod touch EasyPay systems to new iPhone 5s hardware with a number of new features.

Mark Gurman contributed to this report. 

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23 Responses to “Apple kicks off its big in-store iPhone upgrade event”

  1. windlasher says:

    Got a few gazillion iPhone 5s laying around Tim ?

    • Jubei says:

      No there aren’t a Gazillion laying around. Why do iHaters always comes up with the most inane reasons for an Apple promotional push? Think before you post.

      • windlasher says:

        ihaters? It was meant as a joke. I probably have more apple products in my household right now than you have ever owned. THINK BEFORE YOU TROLL.

      • Jubei says:

        If you meant it as a joke, you need to specify it so. You must think people can read your useless mind or see your silly face as you type you “joke” online. Think before you respond.

    • joshalfie says:

      Considering that they sold millions more than was expected last quarter, despite the competitor’s offerings, I doubt this move is due to Apple having excess stock.

      • windlasher says:

        Its not that they have excess stock. But if you are about to release a NEW product, you might want to get rid of all the old ones so you don’t have them sticking around when the new one comes out. Why buy old when you can buy new for the same price?

      • rettun1 says:

        I think the 5s and 5c will still be sold after the new phones come out, so it’s not like their trying to get rid of stock. But this probably is the time that the 5s/c are most desirable

  2. Rob Ashman says:

    will this be available in the UK i wonder?

  3. What if I want to trade in my 5c to a 5s?

    • No dice. You aren’t able to trade in any current model equipment. To be honest, you are better selling your iPhone 5c on your own and then buying an iPhone 5s after.

      ****Something this article didn’t mention: you can trade in an iPad 2 or newer towards an iPad OR an iPhone. You can also trade in an iPad AND an iPhone for either an iPhone or iPad. if there is any $$$ remaining you’ll get it back with a gift card or use it for anything else in the store.

  4. This promotion has been in place for the last month. Does an email campaign count as a “kick-off”?

  5. This means only one thing… :)

  6. Jason Olsen says:

    Could this indicate a new iPhone at WWDC?

    • No. iOS 8 and OSX 10.10 almost certainly but betas have to run first before the phones ship. I don’t see how apple could release a next gen iPhone at WWDC unless they decide to release it with iOS 7.x.x, which is highly unlikely.

  7. trebrooks92 says:

    They’re doing this so that when the iPhone 6 comes people will be tempted to shell out more cash.

  8. btyler227 says:

    Is it really a good time to upgrade, Apple? iPhone 6 is coming. I’m gonna hold off until then. That will be a beautiful time to upgrade. Maybe they want people to upgrade now to reduce iPhone 6 supply constraints.

  9. herb02135go says:

    What timing. My contract is ending and I’m going for the S5.

  10. Certainly a good approach by Apple with more market aligned trade in prices. If the iPhone is not in the best condition it’s probably worthwhile using the trade in program. I your iPhone is in good condition you most likely get more out of it selling on eBay.

  11. Anyone know if I want to buy a contract free iphone 5s, apply the recicle program, I have a 4s