China is slowly becoming Apple’s main iPhone market and Apple has a new initiative in place to help it sell more iPhones while simultaneously increasing market share in the highly competitive market. Instead of cutting prices on top devices or worrying about launching cheaper devices, Apple plans to enlist Foxconn’s resources to sell used iPhones in the region, Bloomberg has found out.
Apple will initiate a local trade-in program in China, similar to the one already available in the U.S., with Foxconn acting as the middle man. The Chinese manufacturing giant, which is also Apple’s largest supplier, will buy used iPhones directly from existing iPhone owners, who will receive credit good towards new iPhone purchases.
The actual trade-ins will take place at Apple stores where retail staff will assess an iPhone’s condition and then offer appropriate credit. Foxconn will then take over the old iPhones, repair them if needed, and resell them for affordable prices. The company will use its own e-commerce sites for selling the handsets, including eFeihu and FLNet, and partner up with Alibaba’s Taobao online store.
According to IDC, Apple sold no less than 46.3 million iPhone units in China last year, a 42% increase compared to the previous year – overall, that means that one in four new iPhones sold by Apple in 2014 went to China.
The trade-in program seems to be the logical next step for the region, giving Apple an easy way of turning even more customers into iOS users with the cheaper iPhones.