You might soon be able to walk into any Microsoft retail store and exchange your iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 for a minimum of $200. Like the Redmond company’s iPad buyback program, which launched only a few weeks ago, Microsoft will give defecting iPhone users in-store credit starting Friday as part of its #timetoswitch campaign. The new initiative is designed to encourage Apple fans to jump over to the Windows Phone side.
Microsoft already offers Apple, Android and BlackBerry users the chance to get a Visa gift card through an online portal, but this one is much more immediate—if you can find a Microsoft retail store in your area. Similar to Microsoft’s iPad campaign, the upcoming iPhone trade-in offensive will only be available in the U.S. and Canada; the online offer is available to anyone looking to “trade up to an amazing new Microsoft device.”
The timing of Microsoft’s latest campaign is a little funky seeing as Apple’s new iPhones have already sold a whopping 9 million plus. People are quite obviously more interested in Apple’s lineup; maybe Microsoft thinks it can convince stragglers waiting for new iPhone 5s stock, or those who want to take on a new challenge. A minimum of $200 credit is enticing, but enticing enough to switch over to Windows Phone?
With BlackBerry quickly fading from the picture, Windows Phone will have the opportunity to gain new converts as it looks to become a competitive mobile OS. While programs like this do seem desperate, it’ll surely attract a few former iPhone lovers who might want to try out something like the Lumia 1020.