Bloomberg reports that Apple has teamed up with a company called Brightstar (which runs trade-in programs for AT&T ad T-Mobile) to start the service with a dual purpose — to keep customers using Apple stuff, and to get refurbished Apple products on the market in developing countries.
If the Apple program works like the AT&T one run by Brighstar, a trade-in for an iPhone 4 or 4S could net the customer as much as $200. The hope on Apple’s part is that the customer will then use that money to get a new iPhone and not a competitor’s device like a Samsung Galaxy S4.
The rear-end of the trade-in is that the bought-back Apple products will then be refurbished and resold in emerging markets, where Apple’s traditionally higher-end products have faced competition from lower-priced alternatives. Bloomberg’s source on the trade-in program says all re-purchased phones will go overseas.
The source also says that the trade-ins will only be available at Apple retail locations. Depending on where you live, that’s good or bad news. If you live near an Apple store, you can go there and get paid for your old device instantly; no shipping and waiting. But if you don’t live near an Apple store, your only option is through your carrier or another service that offers trade-ins.