By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 07, 2013 10:53 AM EDT
It's no doubt that iPhone trading programs are quite popular, as they allow Apple fanboys to get the new iPhone for a much lower price.
While this option is currently available only if the carrier chooses to make such an offering, things might change soon. A new report indicates that Apple itself is gearing up to debut an iPhone trading program in its very own stores.
According to a Bloomberg report citing "people with knowledge of the plans," the Cupertino tech giant is reportedly preparing to launch its iPhone trade-in program this month. As with all programs of this nature, Apple's new offering will allow users to get the new iPhone 5 for just a fraction of the cost by trading in their older iPhone versions.
Apple is working with mobile-phone distributor Brightstar Corp. to operate the exchange program, note Bloomberg's sources. The tipsters asked to remain anonymous because the plans are yet to be officially announced.
Brightstar is no newcomer to the trade-in game. The company already handles such programs for several carriers and device makers, including AT&T and T-Mobile. Apple's move aims to tempt more consumers to update to the latest models by giving up their older handsets, as part of a larger scheme to boost sales growth and fight declining shares.
Lowering the cost of purchasing a new-generation handset will help attract more buyers, which means selling more phones for Apple. At the same time, the scheme would also cater to the great demand for refurbished iPhone 4 and 4S smartphones in emerging markets.
It remains unclear at this point just how much Apple is willing to pay for older iPhones. AT&T, for instance, currently offers up to $200 for older iPhone 4 and 4S handsets in working condition. With a proper plan, consumers could buy an entry-level iPhone 5 for no up-front cost by using that trade-in money.
Apple's iPhone trade-in program may not only allow consumers to bring in their used iPhones for a considerable discount on newer models, but it might also give them credit for other items in Apple stores.
While this is unconfirmed at this point, such a program would not come as much of a surprise. The Cupertino tech giant already has a recycling scheme in place that allows users to benefit either from an Apple gift card or, with iPhones and iPods, get a 10 percent discount on a future purchase.
In late 2011, Apple started working with PowerOn and the partner company offered users up to $345 for older versions of iPhone. It remains unclear how Apple's new trade-in program would differ.
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