A long time coming? Apple has joined the after-market smartphone game with the launch, from today, of the iPhone Trade-In Program. The Cupertino company is accepting working, water damage free trade-ins at its brick n’ mortar Apple Stores across the US.
Back in July, rumors began to circulate ’bout changes Apple was implementing to drive more iPhone sales at its signature brick n’ mortar Apple Stores. The problem for the mothership is that they sell only 20 percent of iPhones, but end up servicing 50 percent of problems.
Selling more iPhones to consumers would have the added benefit of bringing more people in stores and into contact with the company’s Macintosh, iPad and, why not?, iPod product lines.
Most observers weren’t anticipating it to launch until September 10, when the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C introductions are anticipated. By launching the iPhone Trade-In Program today, Apple has reaffirmed its ability to surprise and delight:
Breaking @CNBC: $AAPL tells me trade-in launches across US today
— Jon Fortt (@jonfortt) August 30, 2013
That said, iPhone owners that carrier eligible for an upgrade can take advantage of the trade-in program. Additionally, if you trade in today, you must leave the Apple Store with a new iPhone in hand today.
BREAKING: Apple tells @jonfortt that $AAPL’s trade-in program to roll out nationwide today; customer must leave store with new contract.
— CNBC (@CNBC) August 30, 2013
Apple’s iPhone Trade-In Program partner is Brightstar, an electronics recycling company, which will refurbish trade ins (i.e. working, no water damage) for sale in third-world countries. That’s a triple win for Apple as the program prevents first-world market cannibalization, extends market penetration and reduces the amount of waste that gets landfilled.
Pretty sweet? Of course the devilish details is how much Apple + Brightstar give users for their used iPhones. Nevertheless, being able to walk into an Apple Store and leave with a shiny new iPhone is sure to appeal…
What’s your take?