For the past year Apple has heavily promoted its trade-in offers to help boost new iPhone sales, even offering consumers up to $100 more on old iPhones when purchasing a new one.
But the company has now reined in trade-in values on used iPhones across the board. It's cut the top trade-in value for the iPhone XS Max from $600 to $500, as spotted by MacRumors and German Apple-focused tech site iFun.de, which found that the iPhone XS Max trade-in value dropped from €500 to €430 ($556 to $478).
The iPhone XS model saw the heftiest cut, while other models were devalued by between $80 and $20. Across all iPhone models, Apple has reduced the trade-in value by between 15% and 17%.
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For example, the iPhone XS maximum trade-in value fell from $500 to $420, the iPhone XR fell from $370 to $300, and the iPhone X fell from $400 to $320. The top trade-in value of the iPhone 6s fell from $100 to $80. Apple offers less if the screen or other components are damaged.
The cuts are even steeper when it comes to estimated iPad trade-in values, which have fallen by between 25% to 30%.
The top trade-in value for an iPad Pro is $220, down from $290, while the iPad's trade-in value dropped from $140 to $100. The iPad Air has fallen from $100 to $70, and the iPad mini at most is worth $80, down from $120.
Apple hasn't explained why it cut trade-in valuations just now. The company is still keen on consumers upgrading hardware but it is also in the middle of a shift towards services revenue and driving subscriptions Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay and new services like Apple Card. From a services revenue perspective, customers with an old iPhone are just as valuable as customers with a new one.
The company last week boasted that App Store customers spent $1.42bn over the Christmas break, up 16% on last year during that period.
It also noted that Apple Card holders had used it to purchase new iPhones with monthly installments over 24 months with zero interest.
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Apple has promoted its trade-in scheme as a good outcome for the environment. It's certainly easier for consumers to just hand in an old iPhone when buying a new one, but consumers can typically get more by selling it to another person.
Apple has also cut the top estimated trade-in values for some MacBooks and the Apple Watch Series 4, which dropped from $110 to $100.