How Apple’s iPhone ‘Reuse and Recycle’ trade-in program works

“Apple is gearing up to launch its iPhone trade-in program in September,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac. “he program will allow an iPhone user to exchange an older iPhone model for a new iPhone at a discounted price.”

“The trade-in program will be marketed as the ‘iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program.’ It will begin rolling out in select Apple Stores this upcoming Friday, August 30th,” Gurman reports. “A value for the old iPhone will be provided to the customer. The value will be created based on the following specifics about the old iPhone: Display quality, button quality, overall hardware damage, engraving, liquid damage, and being able to be powered on and used normally.”

Gurman reports, “The Apple Store employee will then provide the customer with their new iPhone [and] a gift card with the value amount to be paid towards the new iPhone… The gift card must be used at that time towards the new phone and it cannot be used toward other products… We’ve also been told that the trade-in pricing for the iPhones is slightly below the competition. For example, an unlocked, undamaged iPhone 5 16GB will be worth around $279, while an AT&T 16GB iPhone 5 will be worth $255… Gazelle currently offers $330 for both of those devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple to launch iPhone trade-in program in retail stores as soon as next month, sources say – August 26, 2013
Selling your old iPhone? Do it now – August 22, 2013
Cook’s plan: Grab iPhone sales share from resellers – July 5, 2013


  1. So, if the “gift card must be used at that time towards the new phone” then there must be new iPhones available to previous iPhone owners. Sounds like a preferred customer release! You can’t resell to the black market unless you have an iPhone to trade in which the scalpers do not have. I like this a lot!

  2. Sorry, unless Apple at least matches what Gazelle and other places (Best Buy) are offering for used iPhones, then why would I bring my iPhone to them when I can get a better deal elsewhere?

    You certainly would trade-in your car at one dealership if another dealership offered more for it.

    1. You can’t “trade-in” your car at a different dealership than the be where you are buying your new car. That would be selling at a later date.

      The difference can be significant if the gift card counts more like a store credit, so you don’t pay sales tax on that amount. Otherwise you pay full value for your iPhone 5S, pay full tax, then sell your phone and ship it to Gazelle. Hope it doesn’t get lost or damaged along the way. You may make a few bucks more this way, but you also have to spend time doing it instead of taking care of it in one transaction.

      Personally we keep our iPhones and hand them down to our kids. Older ones we keep as iPods with no phone service. We tend to upgrade every 2 years, so Gazelle doesn’t offer enough to make it worthwhile (they’re more valuable to us as iPods or emergency iPhones if one is lost).

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