Report: Apple to Launch Trade-In Service in Retail Stores for Older iPhones
June 6, 2013 5:43 PM
comment(s) - last by
It could start as soon as this month
Apple will reportedly launch a trade-in service this month for older versions of
, Apple will partner with Brightstar Corp. (a provider of specialized global wireless distribution and services) to start an iPhone trade-in service at Apple retail stores as soon as this month.
Brightstar, which also runs trade-in programs for AT&T and T-Mobile, will be expected to take care of Apple's iPhone trade-ins as well.
The service will allow owners of iPhone 4s or iPhone 4Ss to trade in their old phones for money or an upgrade to the iPhone 5.
The idea behind the service is to get customers to upgrade to Apple's newest devices. At AT&T, many customers get about $200 for trading in their old iPhones -- which could be put toward a new iPhone 5.
Meanwhile, Brightstar resells the old iPhones to emerging markets where
demand for cheaper devices
is much higher. This allows newer devices, like the iPhone 5, to thrive in developed markets like the U.S.
Rumors have been circulating for awhile that Apple is working on a cheaper version of the iPhone, but no further details about specs or a release date have been released.
In the meantime, trade-ins can serve as cheap resales for the company (however, it doesn't appear these old iPhones will be resold in the U.S., so residents will have to wait until the cheaper iPhone materializes).
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RE: Hiding the truth?
6/6/2013 10:48:43 PM
The way Im interpreting this is that if the ban is put into place then if I were to purchase an iPhone 4 I may not be able to have it activated on the AT&T network. This could seriously degrade resale value of Previous gen Apple devices which would force Apple to offer something like this buy back program.
I could very well be wrong I haven't had much sleep lately.
I do agree this would force the price of the iPhone 5 down if they cant sell the 4's because of the ban.
RE: Hiding the truth?
6/6/2013 11:25:45 PM
First, the ban is an import ban. It is not a sales ban or an activation ban or a use ban.
Second it will be implemented at the earliest in about 50 days. Any phones imported before that time can be bought or sold or activated or used.
Third, Apple is certainly trying to get an administrative reversal. If they can't get that they will certainly file an appeal with the courts. Additionally, if Apple wanted to it could import 100% of the production of the iPhone 4 units for the next 50 days or so into the U.S. rather than dispersing them worldwide. Then stop imports at the 50 day mark. This would give Apple PLENTY of inventory in the U.S. to sell.
These patent wars never end. Not even each skirmish.
I look at this ban, in the real bottom line, as no different from Apple "winning" $1.05 billion last year. Apple hasn't seen a dime of that and likely never will. Samsung will keep appealing that decision for years to come -- at least until the equipment and technology about which the lawsuit was based is truly irrelevant.
The same for this ban. Apple will appeal it until Apple is in a position such that Apple will not need to import any banned item -- no mater how convoluted a situation can come up.
All of these parties count on the courts being ridiculously slow. Even truly and properly aggrieved parties cannot get justice because the courts move a 1% of the pace of technology. In this case Apple will take advantage of that glacial pace just like Samsung is doing in the aforementioned case.
Finally, the *rumored* constraints Apple has placed upon the buyback partner (the company actually effecting the buyback for Apple) is that ALL iPhones "bought back" must be resold outside the U.S. This raises the minimum average iPhone generation in use in the U.S.
This does two things for Apple:
1) It allows Apple to say things like 60% of all iPhones in use in the U.S. are iPhone 5 phones and 35% are iPhone 4S phones (numbers 100% made up!) which (at least in Apple's mind) presents the idea that most people want the latest/greatest Apple iPhone rather than having to say that 30% are iPhone 5 phones, 30% are iPhone 4S phones, and 30% are iPhone 4 phones (again, completely made up numbers) which sounds like people don't want to upgrade.
2) It allows Apple to stop supporting older phones with their newest iOS. If they can get the percentage of iPhone 4 and older iPhone systems down to the single digit percentage then Apple can claim that they don't need to support those older phones in the newest iOS releases -- and they will get minimal backlash. Conversely, if 30% or more of the iPhones in use are iPhone 4 units and older units then if Apple drops them the iPhone user base will scream. Right now, if I remember correctly, the current iOS supports iPhones back to the 3GS variant. (Apple's current iOS won't support all functions on the 3GS due to hardware limitations of that old phone, but IIRC you can load it and it will work.)
RE: Hiding the truth?
6/7/2013 9:47:42 AM
Not to mention that the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are likely slated to be discontinued this fall. The iPhone 5 will likely become the midrange, an iPhone 5s or 6 will come out on top, and the new 'cheaper' iPhone will sit on the bottom rung, likely displacing the 4s from the lineup.
The iPad 2 is only around because Apple wanted a cheaper full-size device; the iPad 4 is likely to take the $399 spot this fall. Unless Apple wants to keep the iPad 2 as an Education only SKU (and keeping it as the only 30-pin connector device still on sale), it's unlikely it'll stay around.
Considering this ban starts in 60 days, it's no big deal - Apple's fall iDevice refresh is usually September/October, about 60-90 days away. I'm sure Apple can import enough stocks to get them through that short hump before the refresh.
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