Apple’s long-rumoured iPhone trade in programme should be launching sometime in September according to The Telegraph. The iPhone 5S is also reportedly launching sometime in September and it’s unlikely that the similar timings of the two are a coincidence.
The iPhone trade-in programme is already being piloted at certain Apple stores in the US. Before being able to trade a device in, it is inspected by a member of staff and the owner is asked questions about its condition. After that a price if offered based on the model, storage capacity, colour and whether there’s any physical or water damage. According to The Telegraph the price range can be anything from $120-$200 (£90 - £150) for a 16GB iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, while a 16GB iPhone 5 can go for up to $250 (£161), though apparently those prices may change before the scheme is properly launched.
However the money received in exchange for an old iPhone can only be put towards a new iPhone- there’s no cash alternative and even other Apple products seem to be excluded. Along with the September launch date that strongly suggests that Apple is specifically trying to get more people to buy the iPhone 5 by essentially making it more affordable. As the trade-in plan is limited to Apple retail stores it also seems like a concerted effort to get customers to buy the new iPhone direct from Apple.
But while these seem likely to be Apple’s main goal for trade-ins, Tim Cook was quick to highlight a more altruistic motive for the scheme at Apple’s last earnings call, stating that “I like the environmental aspect of it, and so that part of it really is encouraging to me.”
Of course many independent retailers already offer iPhone trade-ins and potentially give customers more money and don’t limit them to spending the cash or credit on a new iPhone, so whether Apple’s scheme will really be able to compete remains to be seen.
In any case, iPhones are famously expensive devices and anything that makes them more affordable is ok by us. We’ll be sure to let you know once we find out the specific launch date and price points of the new trade in plan, but there’s every chance that it will launch at the same time as the iPhone 5S.
By Simon Thomas on 28th August, 2013