SAN FRANCISCO: Got an iPhone 4 but want to upgrade without breaking the bank? Owners of older handsets may soon be able to trade in their phones at Apple Retail stores in the US in return for a discounted iPhone 5, according to a recent report.
What’s more, the returned iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S handsets would be refurbished and sold in emerging markets, such as India, as a way to make Apple devices more obtainable.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is considering in-store trade-ins as a way of boosting sales of its flagship smartphone in the US and of speeding up the process of selling on older handsets. Other companies already offer iPhone trade-in programs in the US, but they usually require owners to mail off their older device and then wait for reimbursement. Even Apple’s own existing trade-in service, which has been up and running since 2011 in the US, is conducted online and therefore is nowhere near as efficient as being able to walk into a shop with an old phone and then walk back out with a new one.
As well as trade-ins, Apple is also believed to be stepping up its in-store repair services. According to Apple Insider, from July, US iPhone 5 owners with AppleCare cover will be able to get their broken screens replaced at the Genius Bar. In-store staff will also be able to replace buttons, cameras and even logic boards on damaged devices.
Until now, a broken iPhone would be replaced with a working refurbished device or in some cases sent off-site for repair. However, with new machines being installed at a number of Apple Stores in the US, repair and return times will be cut dramatically.