It also could be a way for Apple to combat the slowing sales of higher-end smartphones. Gadget makers and wireless carriers are offering more and more incentives to get customers to upgrade to the latest smartphones rather than keep the ones they already have.
And as a way to combat the higher-priced models, those customers have taken to the used smartphone market to sell their old devices, reports The Los Angeles Times.
The used smartphone market may be small right now, but as more and more consumers sell their old devices, the market is expected to grow rapidly. According to a recent paper by Bernstein Research, the market could grow from 53 million units to about 257 million units in the next five years.
USA Today notes that Apple's new iPhone trade-in program will allow customers to receive credit toward the purchase of a new iPhone. Company spokeswoman Amy Besette explained in an email to the news organization that "iPhones hold great value."
Bessette went on to explain that the trade-in program is "to assist customers who wish to bring in their previous-generation iPhone for reuse or recycling." The launch is not unexpected.
Rather, analysts and websites expected the move to coincide with the release of the iPhone 5S, which could be announced in September. Best Buy, Target, and RadioShack already offer buyback programs. Some wireless carriers also offer similar options. Apple also has a trade-in program of its own already, though it isn't advertised.
Apple did not give any hints on how much credit it would give customers who participate in the trade-in program. However, it is likely the price will include factors like condition, the model, and how long the customer has had it. Apple is expected to announce its new smartphone at an event on September 10.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]