Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has teamed up with mobile-phone distributor BrightStar Corporation to begin an in-store trade-in program, according to an unnamed source. The program will help users with aging iPhone handsets transition to the more recent iPhone 5.
This isn't the first recycling program from Apple. Apple runs a Web-based recycling service in conjunction with PowerOn Services Inc., a company based in Roseville, CA. The company offers cash for used iPhones, iPads, and Macs online. This program with BrightStar, however, will be available at Apple’s retail locations, so consumers will receive their money quickly and avoid having to deal with packaging and shipping products, as is standard with some other trade-in services. This tactic will also help ensure that the consumer sticks with the iPhone rather than taking the money and spending it on another company’s mobile platform. Each iPhone that is bought back will reportedly be resold in emerging markets.
BrightStar set up its trade-in shop over a year ago and will apparently hit the 15 million mark later this year for devices that it has bought and resold. The company takes about 80 percent of used devices in the US and then resells them to distributors in 50 countries. BrightStar also handles trade-ins for companies like AT&T and T-Mobile as well as several other unnamed carriers and device makers.