Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has announced a new iPhone trade-in program which will allow users to trade in old iPhones at the Apple Store in exchange for store credit. The service is designed to increase the already massive amount of iPhone users sticking with the smart phone platform.


The surprise announcement was made today with little aplomb. CNBC tweeted that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had gotten in touch to confirm the program’s roll out. The trade in program is an expansion of the company’s preexisting online trade-in scheme which allows consumers to trade their iPhone for store credit at the company’s web site.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) isn’t the first company to create a program like this, but it is likely that it will be more meaningful at the Cupertino company because of the immense loyalty of its customers.

Apple iPhone trade in

The program allows users top take part in the “iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program” in any Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Store in the United States. the program allows users to get $336 in a trade in for a 16GB iPhone 5, down to $52 for a 16GB iPhone 3GS. Newer and higher capacity models allow users to avail of a sliding scale of rewards.

The trade in program will have to compete with similar programs for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones across the tech spectrum, with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) offering a similar program alongside several of the country’s biggest retailers., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) offers the biggest monetary awards for iPhone trade ins in the United States.

Apple iPhone announcement

The announcement was made in a qualitatively un-Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) style, particularly with a presumed iPhone launch just around the corner. Small announcements like this are often made at the company’s glitzy launch events, particularly if they are due at around the same time.

A lot has been said about the change in culture at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the last year or two, and a lot more will certainly be said. This announcement is unusual in how downplayed it is. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) let CNBC report it rather than wait for the launch of the iPhone 5S. Something certainly seems different at Cupertino.