Microsoft ups the ante on its iPhone, iPad trade-in promotion

Microsoft ups the ante on its iPhone, iPad trade-in promotion

Summary: A new Microsoft Corporate Buyback promotion, seemingly open to anyone, allows users to get up to $350 to use to buy Surfaces and Windows Phones for trading in iPads, iPhones and other competitive devices.


Just a week ago, Microsoft launched a limited-time trade-in promotion, allowing users to get a minimum $200 gift card for trading in an iPad at one of Microsoft's brick-and-mortar stores.


This week, Microsoft has upped the ante on trade-ins involving its competitors' devices. Users can trade in a variety of phones, tablets and PCs, including Apple iPads and iPhones, Samsung devices, BlackBerry phones and more and receive a gift card worth up to $350 via a new Microsoft Corporate Buyback promotion.

(I'm not sure if Microsoft just launched this program today, September 18, which is the day Apple launched iOS7. I learned about the new promotion via a September 18 blog post by a Microsoft technology evangelist, however.)

The frequently-asked question (FAQ) section of the new promotional site says it is open to anyone. (All that is required is a Microsoft Account ID, which anyone, including non-Microsoft employees and non-Microsoft users can obtain for free.) There also is a way for businesses to trade in multiple devices simultaneously and get a single quote for the value of those devices.

The amount that users will get is calculated via a deal Microsoft has with Clover Wireless, which is a company that provides private label trade-in, buy-back and repair services.

Here's how the new promotion works, as described on the FAQ page. Users enter the details of any devices they want to trade in. Clover Wireless creates an estimate of the value of those devices. Users then register their planned trades and are sent instructions on how to package and mail in the devices using a pre-paid shipping label. Users are required to show a proof-of-purchase of a Microsoft device (specifically, it seems, a Windows Phone and/or Surface tablet), which the users must buy within 30 days of the date when they ship their old devices to Clover Wireless. Within 60 days of receipt, Clover will send users their rebates in the form of a prepaid Visa card.

According to the site, Clover may opt to refurbish the devices users trade in and resell them or donate them charitably.

There's no date I can find as to when the Clover/Microsoft Corporate Buyback promotion is set to expire. There's also nothing I see on the site so far indicating this is open to North American residents only, though I don't see carriers from Europe, Asia or Australia listed in the device registration section of the site. 

I have a question in to Microsoft in case there are further details or provisions worth noting.

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Apple, iPhone, iPad, Microsoft, Windows Phone


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Please, for your own safety

    Apple users should not show their devices in pulic, lest they be assulted.

    This is just the kind of offer that would have criminals steal your devices to use as a trade in for Microsoft devices, and the risk of being assulted during the robbery is very likely.
    Timothy Cook
    • Trading a useful device for a failed device

      Don't worry. Criminals won't want Microsoft Surfaces any more than they would want a Microsoft Zune or Kin. Criminals only go for sort-after devices.

      This is essentially a bribe to trade-in a useful device with lots of apps for a failed device that makes you choose between a thick, heavy, hot device with poor battery life (Surface Pro) or a device with no apps (Surface).

      Microsoft CEO Ballmer seriously needs to get over his Apple envy, which he has suffered from for many years. This mental disturbance keeps coming back again and again. Look at the video Ballmer released last week, criticising the new colored iPhones. Witness the parade Ballmer organised with Microsofties dancing on the street in Redmond, carrying an iPhone coffin. It's just bizarre. The sooner Ballmer goes the better.

      Ballmer should forget about Apple. The fruit-logo company is not his real competitor.
      • Talk about not paying attention

        First, you clearly didn't even look at what was being offered it is a pre-paid visa debit card, which can be used to buy anything, the offer is just being promoted via a partnership with MS.

        Second, It is funny my Pro weighs the same as my Mac book Pro, battery life is similar, my RT runs almost every app my iPad does (plus flash) and costs less. I love when apple fan boys post their hate of things they haven't used or understand, it just makes you look desperate.

        Third, Apple offers trade in of their devices but I am sure you think theirs is a great program, just a FYI the program with the MS partner offers better rates and lets you trade in more devices.

        Perhaps you should forget about MS, stick with your plastic phones(remember when apple mocked them) and device that does less and is designed for those who can't or don't think beyond clever marketing campaigns.
        Denzel Eslinger
        • I agree

          People should really pay attention. Like the part about providing a receipt for purchasing an MS device to get your prepaid Visa CC.

          Sure you can use the card to buy anything but you do have to buy an MS device to qualify in the first place.
    • Thanks for the heads up.

      I'm so glad they widened this promotion. I was worried I would never find any value for my iPad 1.0 64GB device. I can't wait to use that money toward a Surface. Yes, I do feel extremely burned by Apple for ditching the iPad 1.0 so quickly. I'm tired of these companies treating these devices as disposable.
  • Wait for it...

    The astrosurfing iDroids will spin this as Microsoft going out of business.

    But I guess they'll get what their devices are worth...since they're practically on every street corner.
    Dreyer Smit
  • Do I detect....

  • Economics?

    Interesting. I wonder if there's anything shady going on here. Retailers are stuck with lots of unsold Microsoft products, so this could be a clever way for them to get rid of stacks of worthless unsellable Surface RTs and Windows Phones and get refurbished Apple products they stand a better chance of selling. And Microsoft gets a few more people using their platforms too, at the cost of paying out rebates.

    Do they take broken iDevices? I could imagine some apple store employees sending in busted iPhones in bulk to rake in rebate money, and hawking the Microsoft devices they're required to purchase on eBay and making out with a tidy sum.
    • Retailers are stuck with lots of unsold Microsoft products?

      Where did you read that? Worthless unsellable Surface RTs? They seem to be doing Ok at the new price.

      "I could imagine some apple store employees sending in busted iPhones in bulk to rake in rebate money, and hawking the Microsoft devices they're required to purchase on eBay and making out with a tidy sum."

      Hello? Do you think Apple is so stupid that they don't take, and account for all defective devices they trade a brand new/refurbished product for?

      1) They do so just to stop employees from giving out a new product and keeping the "defective" (wink, wink) iPad for themselves, so no, I doubt any Apple employee is sitting on a hord (or even one) broken Apple product from a trade in. Retailers take their business seriously.

      2) Where do you think the "refurbished" iphones and iPads come from?
      William Farrel
      • surface rt sold out

        The last time I tried to buy surface rt it was sold out at every bestbuy, staples, walmart. Only place is microsoft stores which were too far for me and tjat was 3 weeks ago. I think ms did pretty good after price drop.
        Gauv Saeteurn
    • There is a major problem with your theory

      "and hawking the Microsoft devices they're required to purchase on eBay and making out with a tidy sum."

      MS devices don't sell, not on eBay or anywhere else. That's why there are 6 million Surface RT sitting unwanted in a warehouse. Anyone buying an MS product will likely be stuck with it forever - unless they are willing to pay someone to take it from them! :-P
  • Microsoft ups the ante on its iPhone, iPad trade-in promotion

    That is a heck of a deal. Since your ipad is sitting on the night stand collecting dust it would be best to trade it in and get a Microsoft Surface at a discount. At least with the Microsoft Surface you will actually use it.
    • that's a good one...
    • Free dance classes with every Surface

      because that is all it is good for. Watch that ads. MS provides it can do nothing else except be useful for clicking and unclicking a keyboard while the "users" (and I use the term lightly) dance around. So, if you want a device to dance with, then buy a Surface. AS for the rest of us, we'll buy a device that is actually productive.
  • Why would I trade in an functional iPhone or iPad for a..................

    Device that has limited use and has not been proven.

    Another desperate ploy by Microsoft.
    • Can your iPad do these things....

      Tell me now what product is of limited use. Microsoft is at fault for not promoting the Surface well but nonetheless it can perform a lot than an iPad especially now that 8.1 is a free update and brings tons of useful features.
      • I know one thing that iPad can do that Surface cannot...

        sell 14 to 23 million units in one quarter!

        Maybe it's as you say, that MS is not marketing Surface right.. but maybe, just maybe no one actually want those features that MS has added to the Surface.. maybe, just maybe Apple is selling people just what they actually want and MS isn't? A boat-car does more than a car.. but how many people actually want or need a boat-car??
        • Good one

          So now we're back to the argument of "iPad is better because it sells more".

          Michael Alan Goff
          • That seemed to be a valid argument

            When it was comparing Windows to the Mac.

            Same thing with number of Applications.

            It is kind of funny how both sides seemed to switch.
          • No, it was never a valid argument

            I don't care that Windows sold more than OS X, that doesn't make it better. The number of apps that Windows has doesn't make it better. I've never seriously made the argument that more makes it better, more just makes it... more.
            Michael Alan Goff