Apple’s iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program launches August 30, details here


Yesterday, a flurry of details was released regarding Apple’s upcoming iPhone trade-in program, a sales initiative in partnership with the recycling firm BrightStar aimed at boosting iPhone sales and upgrades at company-run retail outlets across the United States. Sources stepped forward today, offering new details concerning the official name, availability, launch date and terms and conditions.

As suspected all along, the trade-ins will be handled through Apple’s existing Reuse and Recycle Program, which has been available for quite some time. Furthermore, the same program will serve as Apple’s new in-store recycling program.

Go past the jump for the full reveal…

According to Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, the iPhone trade-in program will initially start rolling out in select Apple Stores this upcoming Friday, August 30, with wide availability expected later in September. Apple will officially market the initiative under the iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program moniker.

Upon entering information about your iPhone into Apple’s EasyPay devices, Apple Store staff will be able to determine a trade-in value of your old handset, based on its display and button quality, overall hardware damage, engraving, liquid damage “and being able to be powered on and used normally”.

That’s right, water-damaged devices won’t be eligible.

Apple will offer to back up customers’ devices and will underscore you won’t be able to get it back once you’ve agreed to the trade-in terms and conditions. Once you agree to the terms and, Apple will issue a gift card with the value amount to be paid towards the new iPhone, along with a plastic bag.

The employee will process the transaction for a new device, pull out a SIM card from the old device, place it in the plastic bag and offer to set up your new iPhone.

We have also confirmed that the traded in iPhones will be shipped to and processed by BrightStar.

The aforementioned old iPhones in plastic bags will be packed up into large cardboard boxes to be shipped to BrightStar. BrightStar has not replied to requests for comment on the matter.

Eligible devices include all iPhone 3G/3GS/4/4S/5 devices. Traded-in devices will be recycled for use only in the United States, Gurman notes. iPhone trade-in pricing should be competitive enough to spur in-store upgrades, with an unlocked, undamaged 16GB iPhone 5 fetching a trade-in value of around $279, while a GSM 8GB iPhone 4 will be worth between $120 and $140 ($80 for a CDMA version).

An AT&T 16GB iPhone 5 will be worth $255. As we reported today, Gazelle guarantees $330 for both of those devices until October 15.


Although Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch yesterday asserted Apple will refurbish and send old devices overseas for sales in emerging markets, Gurman stresses that’s not the case as refurbs will be US-only.

“Non-functional iPhones that are not worth any money will also be able to be recycled via this initiative through BrightStar,” the author wrote, adding that the US-only program could launch in international markets at a later stage.

Apple Support (web screenshot, 20130827)

Perhaps supporting the upcoming initiative, Apple yesterday launched a redesigned AppleCare support website with 24/7 live chat and an all-new look.

The company is also rumored to make important changes to its AppleCare warranty, switching from a one-time payment to a subscription-based model and attaching the warranty to the customer rather than a particular device.