Over the last couple of months it became clear that – although sales were fantastic overall – not a high enough percentage of iPhones were being bought in Apple’s retail stores. The message is simple: Apple doesn’t want you to just have a great experience using your phone, it wants you to have a great experience buying your phone too.
As part of an initiative to boost iPhone sales from within its own brick and mortar stores, Apple is allegedly set to launch its own trade-in program. Similar to those offered by the likes of Best Buy, AT&T and others.
9to5Mac has the lowdown:
Apple is beginning final preparations to launch an iPhone trade-in program in its retail stores as soon as next month, according to sources with knowledge of the initiative. This trade-in program will allow customers that own earlier versions of the iPhone, such as the iPhone 4S, to bring the phone into an Apple Store and exchange it for a new iPhone model, like the iPhone 5, at a discounted price…
There have been no specifics regarding what customers are likely to get offered for the used iPhones, but common sense would suggest they’d be competitive enough to sway consumers from going through third party retailers and carrier stores. After all, if they can stop customers from going in to stores that sell Android and Windows Phone devices, they’re very unlikely to switch platforms.
And, perhaps, this is a move by Apple to gently persuade its loyal customers to ditch carriers’ long contracts. By offering a decent $200-$300 for an old iPhone 5 (for instance), buying an iPhone SIM-free isn’t as huge a sacrifice, leaving customers the freedom to choose better SIM-only tariffs if they’re happy to cough up $300-$400 to buy the phone outright.
Although Tim Cook hasn’t confirmed that Cupertino’s stores will be offering the service, he did say that he liked “the environmental aspect of it”.
Apple has allegedly been testing the trade-in program in a couple of stores in Texas, with the US-wide spread in-store testing set to begin this week. The company wants its employees to clock up a full two hours of training between now and the end of the first week in September. If launched during September, it would surely do nothing but boost the chances of seeing the largest lines every formed for an iPhone launch since the iconic handset first launched in 2007.