Apple loosens restrictions on water-damaged iPhones for Apple Store trade-in program

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Starting this week the trade-in value for iPhones will no longer be impacted by the phone’s liquid damage indicator, according to Apple retail employees. Previously, if a device’s “liquid contact indicator” was tripped, the phone would be completely worthless as a trade-in under the company’s “Reuse and Recycle” program.

This week’s changes to the program, however, will allow more customers to trade in their devices. However, the company isn’t going to start allowing seriously water-damaged phones for trade-in anytime soon. If there is evidence of liquid under the phone’s display or corrosion in the ports, the phone will still be ineligible for any trade-in value regardless of what the liquid contact indicator looks like.

These changes are only valid in physical Apple Stores, so the new policy won’t affect online trade-in values.

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Apple’s iPhone ‘Reuse and Recycle’ trade-in program detailed, begins rolling out August 30th

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Yesterday, we reported that Apple is gearing up to launch its iPhone trade-in program in September. The program will allow an iPhone user to exchange an older iPhone model for a new iPhone at a discounted price. Today, we’ve learned several new details about the program, including how it works, the official name, and information about the launch.

The trade-in program will be marketed as the “iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program.” It will begin rolling out in select Apple Stores this upcoming Friday, August 30th. Like we previously reported, a larger-scale rollout will occur during the month of September.

The program is applicable to both standard customers and business customers that want to purchase a new iPhone.

Here’s how it will work:

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iPad 2 trade-ins as high as $450 ahead of new iPad launch

If you plan to trade-in your iPad 2 and pick up a third-generation iPad when it launches on Friday morning, Apple is now giving you another option by offering up to $320 in trade-in value (Apple Store gift cards) for an iPad 2 depending on the condition and model. To get the full $320 from Apple’s Reuse and Recycle program, you will need a 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G model in near perfect condition. On the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi model, Apple is offering $205. Before the new iPad unveiling, we told you our Top 10 places to trade an iPad for cash or credit, and a few of those options are still providing slightly more than Apple in many cases.

A quick look at a couple of the other popular options—Gazelle and Amazon—will get you just over $400 for an AT&T 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G iPad in “flawless” condition, which is quite a bit more than Apple is offering. Of course, for your iPad to qualify for that much, it will have to “look like it has never been used,” according to Gazelle. Some listings on Amazon are as high as $450. Those options also give you alternative payout methods. In the case of Gazelle, you will be able to get your trade-in value by check, PayPal, or an Amazon gift card. Trade-in values will likely start to fall after the new iPad’s rollout, but Gazelle told us it has seen a 700-percent increase in trade-ins since the new iPad announcement with over 150,000 iPad offers in total so far. Apple’s announcement that the iPad 2′s new $399 price tag was great for education and it certainly did not hurt demand for the iPad 2.

Before you sell your iPad, you will want to get it prepared, cleaned, and packed to get the maximum trade-in value. After the break, you will find step-by-step tips for doing exactly that, courtesy of Gazelle:
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