by Joe White
June 6, 2013
Apple is planning on launching an iPhone trade-in program this month in an attempt to boost handset sales, according to a recent report from Bloomberg. Particularly, the publication claims that Apple's program - which would be the first in-house trade-in scheme ever offered by the company - aims to increase sales of its iPhone 5 in the United States, while at the same time securing profit from the resale of older smartphones overseas. The report explains:
Apple Inc. (AAPL) is starting an iPhone trade-in program this month aimed at getting users to upgrade to the iPhone 5 and turn in older models, people with knowledge of the plans said. Apple has teamed up with Brightstar Corp., a mobile-phone distributor, to run the exchange program, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Apple hasn’t publicly announced the plan.Brightstar Corp. already handles trade-ins for both AT&T and T-Mobile, Bloomberg notes, adding that the demand for refurbished iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S handsets in emerging markets is on the rise. Israel Ganot, CEO of Gazelle Inc. (another trade-in company), told the publication that "the overall size of this market is increasing rapidly." Ganot estimates that 20 percent of customers in the United States this year will use a trade-in program - a figure that's up from 11 percent in 2011. Bloomberg continues:
Used iPhones collected in the U.S. will only be resold in emerging markets, where Apple’s share is lower and demand for cheap devices is greater, said one of the people. That way, the resale of Apple’s older models won’t cannibalize iPhone 5 sales in the U.S., the person said.Securing market share in developing countries is presently a major concern of Apple's, and recently we've seen the company attempt to encourage iPhone handset sales in a number of emerging markets, such as India. Refurbished handsets allow customers in developing countries to purchase Apple's iconic handset at a lower price, while at the same time providing customers in the United States with a means of securing cash for the sale of a used smartphone, once a new model becomes available (Gazelle, for example, currently offers around $200 for 16-GB iPhone 4S handsets in good condition). Apple benefits too, of course, since the scheme will ultimately result in the sale of more iPhones. Bloomberg claims that Apple's forthcoming iPhone trade-in program will launch "this month," and will be available exclusively in Apple Retail Stores, where cash for used handsets will be offered instantly. As such, this could be one of the announcements made by the company at its WWDC 2013 keynote. We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it. In the meantime, see: One Case Maker Thinks The iPad 5 Will Be Unveiled At WWDC, First Look: Vesper, The New Note Taking App For iPhone, and WWDC 2013: Apple May Be Prepping An iPhone Surprise.