New iPhones for old? Apple launches trade-in program

New iPhones for old? Apple launches trade-in program

Summary: Following months without a peep from Cupertino, the anticipation and buzz for a new iPhone generation is reaching a boiling point.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

Despite being a trailblazer in mobile technology, Apple is a little late to the game when it comes to helping customers trade those products back in.

According to CNBC on Friday, the trade-in program is all set to launch today, August 30.

Details are still scarce as Apple itself hasn't published any details, so we'll have to wait and see throughout the day.

But before shoppers can swap their old and weathered iPhones for a brand new device at a lesser cost -- or even for free -- there is a slight catch.

The business news channel reported that all trade-in program participants must leave the stores with a new contract.

That's not terribly surprising or even unreasonable, but it's definitely something to keep in mind for customers in the middle of their subscriptions or even nearing the end.

Compared to some other existing tech trade-in programs, it's not as simple as just as dropping a used iPhone in a bubble-lined envelope with a prepaid shipping label and getting cash back via PayPal.

For example, Gazelle is currently offering up to $210 in cash for a "flawless" used iPhone 4S with 16GB of space from AT&T. Amazon is doling out up to $230 in online store credit for the same model through its own trade-in program.

Apple already has a similar program to the Amazon service, offering store gift cards for used electronics, including iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and even other desktop and laptop PCs.

Of course, consumers would still have to sign up for another contract if electing to buy a brand new iPhone through Apple, but at least there is less work involved in this scenario.

The launch of an iPhone trade-in program is also fueling the fire that Apple is clearing house for a new generation.

Following months without a peep from Cupertino, the anticipation and buzz for the next iPhone is reaching a boiling point.

Analysts and consumers alike might have their wishes (at least concerning a new debut) soon as reports have been circulating, pointing to an unveiling on Tuesday, September 10.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

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  • Sell the old one on Craigs List

    You'll get more money and not have to worry about renewing a contract. I just sold both my HTC 8x and iPhone 5. Took a couple of days but otherwise no downside.
    • iFlip Phone

      Apple should release the killer feature ... The flip iPhone it would be a major hit for sure.
  • Good way to pull...

    ...a bunch of old iPhones off the market so they can't be resold. Apple's way of impacting supply.
  • No more contracts for me!

    Signed up a few weeks ago with AT&T gophone, and so far it's working very well. Prepaid plans are no longer the bastard stepchild (Thanks TMo!). From here on out, I'll plunk down cash for a phone and go the prepaid route.
  • Where?

    Where is this trade-in program? Why is it so well hidden if they take PCs from other manufacturers for gift cards?

    One could leverage that for a low cost Mac as I often get older PCs that people no longer want or need.
  • Apple's idea of a fire sale?

    To borrow of phrase from those commenting about Microsoft Surface price reductions...
    except this one comes with a 2 contract, for a soon to be last year's model...
    P. T. Barnum economics, "A sucker born every minute", though it seems to work sometimes.
    • Arrgghhh...a 2 contract???

      Sheesh...should have been "2 year contract"...need coffee!
    • sure

      You have some problem with Apple? Care to share what it is, so we don't have to wonder.
      • I don't have a problem with Apple...

        just throwing the same thing at them as everyone throws at Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, whatever multi-billion dollar corporation. I know, it's not supposed to be that way, I'm supposed to choose 1 favorite big corporation, and pledge allegiance to their flag, and defend them at all cost...sorry, I don't fit your mold.
        So, now you don't have to wonder. One less worry for you...go back to flagging everyone that doesn't praise, honor and serve your master.
  • Desperate times call for desperate measures

    Apple is desperate to move some old rehashed kit in attempt to appear relevant in an Post-Apple market.
  • I suppose IPods will now have A6 chips

    And everything in an iPhone 5 except cellular and GPS. Not a good deal but an alternative for those looking to run apps without being tracked. Otherwise no reason to buy the latest iPod either. This reminds me of the IBM mainframe upgrades... Tic Tock same old kit with one or two mostly unremarkable tweaks.
  • Let's see

    You want to trade your old gadget for a new one? Good luck. Even a near perfect condition phone will be rare to see. On top of that, you have some bozo who will decide what your old phone is worth. they take in account the battery life [since try and change it officially] as well. Most phone over 2 years old [iPhone or not] will have a poor battery life. Might as well just hold on it until the contract is up.