Apple’s answer to slower iPhone sales? Getting customers to trade in

“Wireless carriers have long made smartphones look cheaper to consumers by subsidizing their cost,” Sarah Krouse reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“The company has rolled out at least one new iPhone in each of the last several years, adding features that have pushed the starting price of its top-of-line model above $1,000,” Krouse reports. “With less fanfare, Apple has also let U.S. customers trade in older models for credit — a program it is now hoping will help mitigate the sticker shock.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Whatever it takes. We do feel that Apple could have done a better job of moving this program along. Perhaps they held back so as to not upset carriers and other iPhone resellers?

Apple launches trade-in program in China to get Android users to upgrade to iPhones – January 3, 2019
Apple expands iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR trade-in program to more countries – December 24, 2018
Apple promos GiveBack program with trade-ins now worth instant credit toward new Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch – August 9, 2018


  1. There is something very “B-side” for a trade in program serving a company as a solid step forward.
    This is a stepping low that I can’t imagine S Jobs would ever advocate, or permit.

    1. Yeah, getting people who paid anywhere from a grand to $1500 to trade that phone in for $200 credit on phones that can cost up to $1800. Sounds like a Tim Cook special to me.

  2. I noticed the push,, I can only imagine if on the other hand i noticed a strong push into android switch markets, let alone the entire product line, on a side note, in other business comment sections, it seems joe q public feels that the products really aren’t meeting the customers needs, one saying that he walked from a Macbook Pro due to lack of ports and price, would never consider a 2013 trash can, when he wants a Mac Pro, Home Pod is sub par to the competition, ATV is as well, and the phones are over priced.. but we knew all that. Why doesn’t Pipeline Tim and the gang? It’s insulting actually being asked to trade in. It IS desperate.

  3. It’s the economy stupid.

    Toys-R-Us liquidated in 2018.

    GM will close four US plants & lay off 15K workers & eliminate six car models by the end of 2019.

    Ford will be out of the car business by 2022.

    JC Penny value fell under a $1.00 – expected to close more stores.

    Sears rejects bid for saving it. Asks judge to liquidate.

    1. Toys-R-Us may actually return if you can believe it or not. They never left Japan and there is talk about reviving in the U.S. If so they may need to get Geofrey back from whereever they donated him. 😛

  4. I once looked at the trade-in program out of curiosity.

    Trade-in value is way too low. I have always been able to sell the old phone very quickly in Kijiji/Craig list almost in a day at the much higher price (translation-market price).
    I thought Apple engaged a used phone reseller (forgot their name) for this program. The reseller has to make money, and I have no doubt that Apple cut their share too. So, they will be making a profit twice in any way they move. So, what are we talking about?

    However, it does help people update the phone if they do not know how to sell their old phones or too lazy to go through the process.

    A suggestion to Apple. How about including an AirPod without lowering the phone price? The actual cost of the AirPod is probably less than 50% of the retail. The perceived discount would be so much more effective than trade-in and other cheeky programs. But I know Apple won’t do anything that would practically lower their selling price.

    1. Agreed the trade in value is a joke. For my 6s they offer 1/2 of what I can get for it on kijijii etc.
      For my iPad Air 128GB, they offer $75 Canadian! Again about 1/2 market value.

  5. “Apple’s answer to slower iPhone sales?”

    Actually their answer to slower iPhone sales is to focus on install base and selling products/services on top of iPhone. It’s been in the news recently you may have covered it.

    1. Big investors don’t believe that will work and that’s why they’re dumping Apple stock. Apple stock, as usual, will be the last to recover out of all major tech stocks if it recovers at all. Apple is supposed to create hardware miracles and anything short of that won’t be enough. It’s already shown how record revenue and profits don’t give Apple the benefit of the doubt on Wall Street. Apple still remains the lowest valued tech stock of them all, and certainly in relation to all FANG stocks or the S&P 500… The. Biggest. Loser.

  6. What a fantastic idea!!!

    I nominate Ahrendts to run the Apple eBay store. I’ll bet she’d be good at dressing up thise old beat up phones.

    Meanwhile smart buyers will stick with to remaining realistic priced models (iPhone 8) and rely on eBay for the many cable adapters Apple forces you to have.

  7. Make a 4″ model and myself, my family and TON of people I have talked to will be BUYING a NEW iPhone.. it’s the DETAILS that Tim Cook allows to consistently MISS – unfocused CEO

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