iPhone 4S on top of box angled 8

Apple has confirmed that it is indeed launching an iPhone trade-in program and the service is launching across the United States today, according to CNBC’s John Fortt. The news follows rumors that such a move was about to take place and that Apple was already training employees in some stores and testing the program as a pilot in others.

The idea is simple, and similar to what’s offered by competing retailers around the United States. You’ll be able to take an older iPhone to an Apple Store, such as an iPhone 4, iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, and trade it for a gift card that can be used towards another Apple purchase. We’ll need to circle back with the rates Apple is offering, though earlier rumors suggested you would receive around $100 – $200 for your older device, which is enough to cover the cost of a new iPhone with a new two-year carrier contract.

Apple’s strategy is clear. It wants customers to remain in its retail ecosystem and visiting its stores. With a trade-in program, consumers have even less of a reason to visit another outlet, such as Best Buy or a carrier partner store. Apple will reportedly sell the old devices in the United States. We’ll keep you in the loop with official comments form the company.