Apple sure seems set on revitalizing the sort of services offered in its retail storefronts. Just earlier today we were talking about its new ability to do certain iPhone repairs in-store, rather than sending hardware away, and now we’re hearing rumors about another change, suggesting that Apple could implement an iPhone trade-in program.
Apple already has a recycling program (through a partnership with PowerON) where you can mail in your old iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer and receive reimbursement for devices in good, resellable condition. This new project, in contrast, would run exclusively in Apple stores, and be conducted with the help of Brightstar.
In the end, the results should be much the same, but doing all this in person has a number of advantages: you instantly know what your old device is worth (rather than just getting an estimate), you don’t have to worry about it getting lost or further damaged during shipping, and you get your credit for that old model straight away. Presumably, that’s the allure for Apple – it encourages customers to then recommit to the company and walk out with a new iPhone 5.
There’s no word yet on when such a program might get started.