Apple aims for convenience over value as competing iPhone trade-in firms continue to offer better deals

Cook at Palo Alto Apple Store (Getty Images)

Cook at Palo Alto Apple Store (Getty Images)

Following our reports detailing the new service, Apple today officially kicked off its new Apple Store iPhone trade-in program that will see customers trading in old iPhones in exchange for credit towards an upgrade to a newer model. The initiative is part of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s new iPhone sales strategy and meant to be “competitive” with other trade-in services, but is it really the best option for getting the most out of your old iPhone before new devices get announced?

The new in-store program will fall under the same Reuse and Recycling marketing Apple uses for its online trade-in system, but for in-store trade-ins it has switched from partner PowerOn to Brightstar to determine the value of iPhones and handle the trade-ins. Apple employees are even encouraging customers to take advantage of the new trade-in offer when bringing in a damaged device to their local Apple Store, but we’ve found other services are currently offering much more for your used iPhone in good condition.  Read more

Apple to offer its own iPhone trade-in program for the first time

Just off the wires, Apple appears to be ready to offer trade-ins on iPhones for the first time according to Bloomberg. Apple currently offers a free recycling program for older devices but this would seem to follow efforts by companies such as Gazelle, Amazon and others who offer big bucks for older iOS devices and Macs.

Apple Inc. is starting an iPhone trade-in program this month aimed at getting users to upgrade to the iPhone 5 and turn in older models, people with knowledge of the plans said.

Apple has teamed up with Brightstar Corp., a mobile-phone distributor, to run the exchange program, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Apple hasn’t publicly announced the plan.

The trade-ins will only be done at Apple Retail Stores and will allow customers to recieve credit instantly. Recently, Best Buy began offering Free iPhone 5s with plan for an iPhone 4 or 4S trade-in. Apple apparently liked the idea – Brightstar counts both Best Buy and Apple amongst its client list. Apple also worked with Brightstar to help AT&T and T-Mobile with their recent trade-in promotions.

Used iPhones collected in the U.S. will only be resold in emerging markets, where Apple’s share is lower and demand for cheap devices is greater according to the report.

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