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Apple Stores Launch Trade-In Program For Used iPhones

People hoping to upgrade their old iPhone for a newer model now have the option of trading in their phone to get credit toward a new device at an Apple store. The technology company announced the new option Friday, ahead of the expected Sept. 10 release of updates to its iPhone line.

The new trade-in program, which Apple says is available at its 252 U.S. retail stores, has several requirements:

  • The phone must be able to be powered up.
  • The phone cannot be water-damaged.
  • Any generation iPhone is eligible.
  • The older phone is exchanged for a newer model at the time of the trade-in.

Prior to Friday's announcement, Apple already offered the chance to reuse or recycle iPhones, iPads and other devices, in exchange for a gift card. But that service, which remains in place, involves getting an estimate online and then shipping the device.

Several sites are reporting more details on the program:

  • Follow a step-by-step guide to trade-ins — including the advice that you should back up your phone before taking it to an Apple store — at Wired.
  • See a chart comparing iPhone trade-in values for the 4S and 5 models at Apple with similar programs offered by Amazon, Best Buy, and others, by 9to5mac.

Several sites are reporting that other companies are offering higher trade-in quotes than Apple. But the company is betting that the convenience of the new in-store option — walking in with an older damaged phone and walking out with a new model at a reduced price — will win customers.

Apple is partnering with a different third-party business, BrightStar, for its new in-store trade-in program, instead of PowerON, the company that handles online trade-ins of phones and other devices.

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