According to Eric Slivka at MacRumors, Apple has already shipped materials to give its employees first dibs on the trade in program. We don’t know when Apple is officially planning to launch the program but it seems reasonable to deduce the program will be revealed on September 10th when Apple flaunts the new iPhone 5S.
Matthew Panzarino from Techcrunch has corroborated the MacRumors claim and says the program is already being piloted in some Apple stores. The idea is that an Apple customer walks into an Apple store and shows a Genius his or her working phone. (that hasn’t be subjected to liquid damage) The Apple representative then escorts the customer to an iPad or MacBook and helps him or her estimate the value of the phone by using an online site. The customer clicks through a few questions about the phone condition and then the value is calculated.
Values can range depending on a variety of factors, including device color, physical damage and liquid damage. Though the prices could very well be tweaked before the program goes wide, the range is said to be around $120-200 for 16GB iPhone 4 and 4S models.
After the customer completes the online phone evaluation, the Apple employee adds the value to a gift card and the balance is applied to a new device. Any residual money on the card remains with the customer.
This sounds nice but there are a few things to keep in mind: Although the customer gets the new phone and Apple gets the new old phone the customer has to physically go to the Apple store to get use the trade-in program. In addition, carrier rules still apply so if your phone isn’t eligible for an upgrade then you may be subject to early termination fees.
But questions remain…
What do you think about this? I think it will be pretty convenient because you can trade in your phone and buy a new one at the same time. On the other hand, you could probably get more for it on Gazelle or Craigslist right?
Also should we really expect Apple to give reasonable return prices for our trade ins?
Let me know in the comments.