Apple today confirmed the launch of a new iPhone trade-in program that will take place at the retail locations starting today. Previously rumored, the program will allow customers to turn their old iPhones into gift cards, which can be used to upgrade their iPhones. The program launch comes 11 days before the company is expected to introduce two new iPhones, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Both will come in an array of color options. The new program will offer a new, convenient way to offset the cost of a new iPhone.
CNET provides us with a chart that details the trade-in value across all of the trade-in programs. Gazelle, NextWorth and Radio Shack will offer you cold, hard cash. The others listed offer gift cards. Apple’s gift card can only be used for an iPhone upgrade.
Based on these numbers, Apple’s iPhone trade-in program is surprisingly competitive, if not the best option for consumers. Only Best Buy and Radio Shack can offer the convenience of walking in with an old iPhone and leaving with a new one, while receiving cash for your old phone. There is a convenience factor that is unmatched by those which require you mail in your existing phone.
For customers who would never consider mailing away their iPhone, Apple is uniquely positioned. There is a trust factor and a comfort that comes from shopping at an Apple Store. Selling your old iPhone remains the best option to get the most value, but some customers won’t go through the hoops necessary. There are also security risks for those who aren’t tech savvy enough to properly restore their iPhone, removing any and all personal content.
When a customer visits an Apple Store, the iPhone will go through a quality test to evaluate the value. The numbers above look competitive, but the true test will be how consumers fare when trading in their iPhones. The launch of this program today is aptly timed, with the launch of new iPhones expected sometime around September 20th.
Upon seeing Apple’s trade-in values, are you more or less likely to trade-in your old iPhone at your local Apple Store. Anyone concerned how this will impact lines on release day? Will they suspend the program during busy periods?