In an effort to expand market share, Apple is now accepting trade-ins of Android phones and Blackberry devices towards the purchase of an iPhone, Bloomberg reports. The announcement comes less than a month before the revamped Samsung Galaxy S6 is scheduled to premiere on April 10, threatening potential sales of the device.
Although the trade-in program began two years ago, only recently did it allow Blackberry and Android phones to be turned in. A move that promises to spur Apple's edge over Google's Android platform, changes to the trade-in program are not supposed to be made public, according to Bloomberg's unnamed source. Apple's market share is currently 0.1 percent above Android's.
As the Inquisitr reported earlier this year, Apple's latest iPhones contain features that go above and beyond those of Android phones. Specifically, the phone's faster processor, better display, and heightened security are among the most popular features influencing purchase decisions. Android phones are struggling to compete with Apple's features, as sales of Samsung, HTC One, and LG phones are on the decline.
Former CEO of a mobile trade-in company, Israel Ganot, explained Apple's position. "Apple can afford to pay more than the market value to get you to switch over, on the idea that you're going to fall in love with the iOS ecosystem and stay for a long time." Apple's trade-in program is made possible by Brightstar, Inc., a company that resells Android phones to customers overseas.
In approximately three weeks, Samsung's latest model, the Galaxy S6, is scheduled to debut in light of Apple's record 2014 sales. As Forbes recently outlined, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is larger and thinner than previous versions and boasts a display quality similar to the iPhone 6. A highly anticipated feature, the Galaxy S6's fingerprint sensor, is rumored to rival Apple's Touch ID, a beloved security feature that formerly set the iPhone apart from Android phones.
Loyal Android users are worried about the Galaxy S6's ability to keep up with the data demand of Lollipop and an improved display. Additionally, the newest Samsung Android phones will not have a removable battery, which may mean more trips to the charger. Despite Samsung's expandable storage options starting at 32GB as opposed to Apple's 16GB, the latter is hoping Apple's reputation for quality smartphones and innovative operating systems will persuade Android users to make the switch.
Until the Galaxy S6 is released, it's not clear whether changes to Apple's trade-in requirements will impact sales of Android phones.