Back in early June, a rumor claimed that Apple was preparing to launch an iPhone trade-in program that would allow consumers to recycle their used iPhone at an Apple Store and put the value of the device toward a new unit. There hasn't been many new details on the program since, but today a new report suggests that the Cupertino firm may finally be ready to put its plan into action.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple is planning to launch its "iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program" at select Apple Stores on Aug. 30, with a broader launch planned for September. The service will allow a consumer to bring a used iPhone into a local Apple Store and have it appraised by an employee. If the customer agrees to the trade-in value, he or she will be able to back up the old iPhone before trading it in, and then the consumer will be given a new iPhone and a gift card for the value of the old unit. The customer will then pay for their new device and the old iPhone will be sealed in a bag, shipped to wireless distributor Brightstar and then will be re-sold in the U.S.
The iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program is expected to accept iPhone models ranging from the 3G up through the iPhone 5. Apple will reportedly pay out slightly less for used iPhones than third-party recycling firms. For example, a 16GB AT&T iPhone 5 will fetch around $255, while an 8GB CDMA iPhone 4 would be valued at around $80.
There are already quite a few different ways for a consumer to sell an old smartphone in order to get cash for a new model, including Craigslist, eBay, third-party recyclers like Gazelle and retailers like Best Buy. This new Apple initiative could be the one that many folks ultimately opt for, though, because the trade-in process will be quick and it'll be easy for them to upgrade to a new model on the spot. That's said to be one of the reasons behind Apple's decision to create the program in the first place, as CEO Tim Cook is said to be interested in increasing sales of the iPhone at Apple Stores.
It's said that the iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program has been undergoing internal testing at certain Apple Stores in Dallas, Texas, in recent weeks. However, it's not yet clear which locations will be the first to offer the service to regular consumers. With a launch reportedly scheduled for this Friday, though, it may not be long before we find out.