More details of Apple’s alleged iPhone trade-in program, which is already being piloted, have leaked. According to sources speaking to 9to5Mac, Apple will market the new initiative as “iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program,” and will begin rolling it out to select stores this Friday, Aug. 30. A larger scale roll out is reportedly set for Sept., the same month Apple is expected to launch its iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.
According to 9to5Mac, the program will essentially allow current iPhone owners looking to upgrade to trade-in their old device. Apple customers will get a value based on the iPhone’s condition—display quality, button quality, overall hardware damage, engraving, and more—and get a gift card, which can then be put towards a new iPhone or another Apple product. When Apple receives an old device, it’ll allegedly be shipped and processed by BrightStar, and then later reintroduced to circulation in the U.S., and the U.S. only. That kills off speculation the older devices were going to be sent to emerging markets.
In addition to the trade-in part of Apple’s program, users will also be encouraged to recycle older devices that no longer work, and would otherwise be worth no money; those, too, will be shipped and processed by BrightStar. Devices currently eligible for Apple’s trade-in and recycling initiative include the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. Prices will reportedly be lower than what you’d get from Gazelle, according to 9to5Mac. A mint condition, unlocked iPhone 5 (16GB) could get around $280 from Apple, while Gazelle offers about $330 for that same device. You’d probably get more selling an iPhone 5 on eBay, too.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is reportedly using the new program to boost sales in Apple stores, which he feels have been below expectations. With two new iPhones expected in Sept., many users looking to upgrade will no doubt be searching for ways to part with their current device before buying a new one. Personally, I’ve found a lot of success through Craigslist—both buying and selling—but Apple’s new initiative is a neat option if you want a no hassle way to get rid of your old device.