Officially dubbed the iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program, it will begin at some Apple Store locations this Friday, Aug. 30. A wider launch will then happen sometime next month.
Here’s how the program, which is available for normal and business consumers, will work:
1) A customer tells an Apple Store employee that he/she would like to purchase a new iPhone and trade-in his/her older model.
2) The Apple Store representative enters information about the customer’s iPhone into an application installed on their mobile EasyPay devices. The EasyPay is normally the device that you will see Apple Store employees carrying around in order to facilitate purchases.
3) Based on the information inputted into the EasyPay, 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.
4) The Apple Store employee will then tell the customer that his/her phone could not be given back once they agree to the provided terms and conditions.
5) However, the customer will be given the opportunity to backup his/her iPhone before turning it in.
6) The Apple Store employee will then provide the customer with their new iPhone, a gift card with the value amount to be paid towards the new iPhone, and a plastic bag.
7) The Apple Store employee will then process the transaction for the new iPhone and place the old iPhone in the plastic bag.
8) The old SIM card will be given to the customer and the Apple Store employee will offer to setup the new iPhone.
Customers will be able to trade in an iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5 under the program. The phones will then be recycled in the United States.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Apple will be offering very competitive trade-in values. According the report, an unlocked and undamaged 16GB iPhone 5 will fetch a user $279. AT&T’s version of the handset will be worth $255.
Popular trade-in site Gazelle is currently offering $330 for a 16GB iPhone 5 in flawless condition. And users have until Oct. 15 to send their iPhone.
But I suspect more than a few Apple Store customers will take advantage of the program. Being able to immediately receive a gift card for an older iPhone is a deal that is hard to pass up.
The program will start in the United States, but may expand internationally later.