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What you need to know about Apple's iPhone trade-in program

Posting in Sustainability

Apple officially launched its iPhone trade-in program for U.S. retail stores on Friday, a scheme designed to encourage existing customers to stay committed to the iPhone.

The trade-in program, which was initially reported by 9to5mac, was confirmed by Apple via CNBC.

Reuse and recycling programs are not new. Many other retailers such as Radio Shack and Amazon offer trade-ins for used devices. And Apple already operates an online reuse and recycling program, which accepts iPhones, iPads and Macs in exchange for gift cards. The online program requires you to mail in the device.

Apple's new Phone trade-in program is primarily selling convenience. It's a simple and fast way for customers to walk into an Apple store with in their old iPhones and leave with a new one. BrightStar will reportedly handle the trade-in, refurbishing and resale of Apple's phones.

And the launch of the trade-in program is certainly timely. Apple is expected to introduce its next generation of iPhones at its Sept. 10 media event.

There are a few details worth knowing before you walk into an Apple Store.

  • Apple employees determine whether your iPhone qualifies for a trade-in. Basically, you need to be able to turn it on and it can't have water damage.
  • Employees are able to offer real time pricing information by entering in details of the phone such as screen quality, hardware quality etc. into their "EasyPay" devices.
  • If you decide to accept their valuation, you have to then pick out your new iPhone to make a trade. The trade-in value will offset the cost of the new iPhone.
  • The credit can only be used to buy a new iPhone and must be purchased during the same transaction, reports 9to5mac.
  • The new iPhone has to be on-contract.

Photo: Apple

— By on August 30, 2013, 7:03 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure