iphone user

According to a new report this morning, Apple is looking to begin its own iPhone trade-in program this summer. Of course, it already accepts trade-ins through its Reuse and Recycle program, but this would be the first time the company has made trade-in offers first hand.

The move is believed to be an attempt to increase handset sales, by encouraging users with older iPhones to trade them in toward the purchase of a newer model…

Bloomberg reports:

“Apple Inc. (AAPL) is starting an iPhone trade-in program this month aimed at getting users to upgrade to the iPhone 5 and turn in older models, people with knowledge of the plans said.

Apple has teamed up with Brightstar Corp., a mobile-phone distributor, to run the exchange program, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Apple hasn’t publicly announced the plan. “

Brightstar currently handles trade-ins for AT&T and T-Mobile USA, as well as other carriers and device makers. They do this hoping to entice customers to purchase new equipment. AT&T, for example, offers as much as $200 for older iPhones, making a subsidized 16GB iPhone 5 free with a 2-year contract.

Until now, Apple paid very little attention to the refurbished iPhone market—its aforementioned Reuse and Recycle program is fairly tough to find on its website. But that appears to be changing as the popular handset’s growth has slowed in recent quarters.

The report goes on to say that the new trade-in program with BrightStar will only be available at Apple’s retail outlets, letting consumers receive payments instantly and avoid the hassle of shipping their older gadgets. Used iPhones will only be collected in the US, and only resold in emerging markets where customers are demanding cheaper handsets.

What do you make of all of this?