Here’s How Apple’s iPhone ‘Reuse and Recycle’ Trade-In Program Will Work


Yesterday, we reported that Apple has started training its retail store employees for its upcoming iPhone trade-in program. Today, the folks over at 9to5Mac have detailed how the trade-in program will allow an iPhone user to exchange an older iPhone model for a new one at a discounted price, once it begins rolling out in select Apple Stores on August 30th.


Marketed as the “iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program”, Apple will launch its iPhone trade-in program this Friday. The program, a larger scale rollout of which will commence during the month of September, applies to standard as well as business iPhone customers that want to purchase a newer model iPhone.

Here’s how the iPhone trade-in program will work:

  1. A customer tells an Apple Store employee that he/she would like to purchase a new iPhone and trade-in his/her older model. The new iPhone must be an on-contract phone and it must be activated on scene.
  2. The Apple Store representative enters information about the customer’s iPhone into an application installed on their mobile EasyPay devices. The EasyPay is normally the device that you will see Apple Store employees carrying around in order to facilitate purchases.
  3. Based on the information inputted into the EasyPay, a value for the old iPhone will be provided to the customer. The value will be created based on the following specifics about the old iPhone: Display quality, button quality, overall hardware damage, engraving, liquid damage, and being able to be powered on and used normally.
  4. The Apple Store employee will then tell the customer that his/her phone could not be given back once they agree to the provided terms and conditions.
  5. However, the customer will be given the opportunity to backup his/her iPhone before turning it in.
  6. The Apple Store employee will then provide the customer with their new iPhone, a gift card with the value amount to be paid towards the new iPhone, and a plastic bag. The gift card must be used at that time towards the new phone and it cannot be used toward other products.
  7. The Apple Store employee will then process the transaction for the new iPhone and place the old iPhone in the plastic bag.
  8. The old SIM card will be given to the customer and the Apple Store employee will offer to setup the new iPhone.

The source notes that the traded in iPhones will be packed up into large cardboard boxes to be shipped to BrightStar for processing. As part of promoting its dedication to the United States, Apple will recycle these iPhones for use in the United States only.

Furrthermore, devices eligible for both the trade-in and recycling aspects of the program include iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5. The program will be supported in the United States first, and may also reach international markets, including Canada, in the near future.


  • Michael Moniz

    Wait. On contract only? Why not an unlocked iPhone? I’m tired of dancing with Bell and and seriously considering buying my phone outright unlocked. Well I’ll just sell my Bell iPhone 4 on Kijij. Even after the new iPhone is released, it should still fetch at least $150-$200.

  • Chrome262

    Yeah mine is unlocked, it should be worth more, and I bought it at the Apple store I would be trading it into. Actually both my 5 and 4s are unlocked. I hope this change once it reaches here, or internationally for that matter since they are sold unlocked in lots of countries. Wait aren’t they sold unlocked in the States now as well?

  • Matt

    I’d rather sell it on Kijiji than have to take a phone on contract with any company.

  • prshan

    Verizon’s iPhone 4S, and 5 are fully UNLOCKED WITH 2 YEAR CONTRACT $199 meaning they don’t pay unlocked fee its FREE

    when they sign up VERIZON 2 year its fully unlocked put PUT SIM anywhere u want but the catch YOU LOCKED to Verizon

    BIG 3 here charges here to UNLOCKED IPHONE after 90days

    BELL $75

    ROGERS $50

    TELUS $35


    u tell me who is scamming us now

    Verizon has 2 upper hand against BIG 3

    NORTH AMERICAN roaming


  • ticky13

    Surely up here in Canada they won’t force us onto a contract if we trade-in. The whole reason I got my iPhone 4 at the Apple Store was so I could freely switch SIM cards between my Canadian, US, and UK one.

    It will be interesting to see what kinda price they will offer and whether eBay / Kijiji will still get you more money, especially compared to the low amounts carriers offer for a trade-in.