Sad because you bought a new iPhone(s aapl) in the past year and a new model is due out as early as next month? Don’t be too upset: Apple’s iPhone trade-in program could debut alongside Apple’s newest iPhone, says 9to5Mac.
Trading in or selling older iOS hardware isn’t something new: Carriers and third-party sites such as Gazelle have done that for some time. It’s a smart business model because the company that buys older iPhones, for example, can offer them again as refurbished items and make some additional profit. Now it seems that Apple wouldn’t mind a piece of that profit pie.
The company was reportedly looking into an in-store iPhone trade-in program back in June. At that time, Brightstar Corp. was thought to be the company that would handle the program for Apple. According to Bloomberg, Brightstar already manages handset trade-ins for both AT&T(s t) and T-Mobile(s tmus). Apple hasn’t made the program official, so it’s not yet clear if it will tap Brightstar for this effort.
Intersetingly, three of major four U.S. carriers have recently expanded their handset trade-ins by packing them with a phone upgrade program. T-Mobile’s Jump, AT&T’s Next and Verizon’s Edge (s vz)(s vod) programs all allow for early handset upgrades, even for those customers on a contract, but to do so requires the turning in of a customer’s current handset. Again, these can be resold by the carriers to make additional money on the same hardware.
It makes sense that if Apple is going to launch a trade-in program, it would coincide with a new handset debut. What better way to get more sales from those who wouldn’t be eligible for a discounted or subsidized new iPhone? And even better, it provides Apple with more stock of used iPhone 4, 4S and 5 models to resell in either its refurbished store or overseas where a new iPhone is still too cost prohibitive.