updated 01:59 pm EDT, Tue August 27, 2013
'Select' Apple Stores to launch initiative August 30th
More details have leaked on Apple's upcoming iPhone trade-in program. The initiative will reportedly be marketed as the "iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program," and begin at a select group of Apple Stores on August 30th. It should expand to more stores in September.
The trade-in process will involve going to buy a new iPhone at an Apple Store and asking to trade in the old one. Using an app on one of the store's EasyPay devices, a clerk will enter data about the old phone in order to calculate its value; beforehand, the clerk will have to rank the trade-in based on factors like damage, button and display quality, and whether or not the phone was engraved.
People won't be able to get an iPhone back once they agree to the terms and conditions of the sale, but they will get the chance to make a backup before the deal is final. A gift card will be credited against the value of the old device, the latter of which will then be placed in a plastic bag. Where applicable the phone's SIM card will be taken out for use in the replacement iPhone.
Behind the scenes, collections of the plastic bags will be packed into cardboard boxes and shipped to BrightStar. 9to5Mac now says, though, that the phones will be recycled within the US, instead of being sold overseas. People should in fact be able to recycle non-functional iPhones through the program. All iPhones except the original 2007 model will be eligible for trade-ins and/or recycling.
A pilot of Apple's plans is said to have taken place in Dallas during he past few weeks, but only to test internal procedures. Apple will also allegedly offer less than competing trade-in services, for instance giving $279 for an unlocked, undamaged 16GB iPhone 5, or $255 for an equivalent AT&T model. By contrast, Gazelle is currently paying $330 for both devices.