Apple is about to introduce a trade-in program that will enable users to walk into a Retail store and trade in an old model iPhone to a new one. There are some interesting details about the way in which the program will work and for that matter, is working right now, as the pilot is currently being run in some Apple Stores. The program has gotten a bit of press recently, with Eric Slivka over at Macrumors, reporting that the training for the program is already underway and Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac as quoting a start date as being sometime in September 2013.
However, the trade-in program is actually already being piloted in some of Apple’s retail stores. And those stores are not just preparing internally for an eventual program, they have been offering trade-ins to customers for several weeks now. According to the information available, this program is presented as something that may not be available at every retail store and interestingly, some of these pilot stores have been processing ‘multiple’ trade-ins a day at this point.
The program works like this: A customer brings a working, non-liquid-damaged iPhone into an Apple Retail Store. It is then evaluated by an employee with the help of an online site that the employee can access. The customer then answers a series of questions about the history and the condition of the device in order to determine a value for trade in. Values given can range depending on a variety of factors, including device colour and physical damage. Though the prices could very well be tweaked before the program goes global, the range is said to be around $120-200 for 16GB iPhone 4 and 4S models. A 16GB iPhone 5 in good condition could go for around $250 (Less than is being offered by some of the other trade-in sites). Once the standard paperwork is done, the value of the phone is then added to a gift card and the balance is applied to a new device, and the customer keeps the gift card if there’s money left over (doubtful). The trade-in program is only applicable if you are in the store to get a new phone, so you cannot just trade it for a gift card!
This procedure is similar to the way that Apple handles its iPhone recycling program now, but that is currently by mail only and also covers a wide variety of products, but it is not offered in-store. If a customer wishes to trade in an old device, that is broken and therefore has no monetary value, they can do so to simply recycle.
The in-store convenience of the program could definitely offer an advantage here. Being able to walk in and get your hands on a clean, crisp, new iPhone, instead of mailing it off and waiting is a powerful pull for many Apple fans.
[Image Via foxbusiness]