Apple is poised to start offering an in-store trade-in program, but consumers already have plenty of options to turn their old iPhone into cash—enough, in some cases, to get their next one for free.
The company launched the new program on Friday, offering a credit for returned iPhones that can be used toward the purchase of a new one. That's just in time for Apple's Sept. 10 event where analysts expect the company to announce a new iPhone.
It's not surprising that Apple—which already has an online recycling program that lets consumers trade their iPhone for credit on an Apple gift card—would expand into store trades, said Todd Day, senior industry analyst for Frost & Sullivan. "If you look at Apple's overall business model, it's not just about the devices but the overall universe," he said. Offering a competitive trade-in program helps ensure those customers stick around, particularly if they receive a gift card instead of cash, as is the case with Apple's existing online program.