Apple is preparing to roll out a new iPhone trade-in program in its retail stores this week, just in time for next month’s expected launch of the new iPhone 5S.
To be eligible for the new “iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program,” you’ll need to purchase a new on-contract iPhone at the same time you trade in your current device. Your old iPhone will be evaluated on the spot based on its condition. The value of your trade-in will then be deducted from the purchase price of the new phone. It does not appear as if you’ll be able to use your trade-in credit towards other merchandise or convert it to cash.
Apple’s trade-in program is all about simplicity and convenience – you don’t need to mail a device anywhere, and an Apple employee will walk you through the process in-store. That convenience comes at a price, however. Forbes, TechCrunch and 9to5 Mac are all reporting that Apple’s trade-in prices are significantly lower than what you could get trading in your device online or selling it on eBay. You can expect to get $250 for a good, working 16GB iPhone 5 from Apple, approximately $65 less than you’d get using a competing service like Gazelle.
Apple’s iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program will begin rolling out this Friday in select stores. A full nationwide launch is coming in September.