Apple Stores to drop AT&T iPhone subsidy, increase trade-in value of older iPhones

Tim Cook (iPhone 6 launch, Palo Alto Apple Store)

Both online and brick-and-mortar Apple Stores around the country are about to drop subsidies for iPhone models sold through carrier AT&T. Moreover, Apple is said to increase trade-in price value of older iPhone models just a little bit, according to a pair of reports Monday (here and here) by 9to5Mac.

Beginning this month, trade-in values for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s models will increase by $15, or $25 in the case of used iPhone 5s devices.

The new trade-in offers are as follows:

  • iPhone 4: $50 of credit, previously $35
  • iPhone 5: $100 of credit, previously $85
  • iPhone 5S: $200 of credit, previously $175

The change is only available in the United States.

Apple’s trade-in deals are not something to write home about so maybe more people will trade-in their used iPhones at Apple Stores than they used to.

When you bring in your used handset, Apple determines its value depending on device condition and other parameters, as set in the company’s Reuse and Recycle Program terms and conditions.

If you take your device to an Apple Retail Store, Apple will immediately give you a credit toward the purchase of a new device. If you get an online estimate from Apple’s approved partner and you qualify, you can mail the old device in and get an Apple Store Gift Card.

The disposal of these handsets in an environmentally friendly manner is being managed by a third-party company called Brightstar on Apple’s behalf.

As for iPhone subsidy, Apple Stores will no longer let you purchase a subsidized iPhone on AT&T although the carrier’s two-year AT&T iPhone subsidy will remain in effect for business purchases. “Customers transitioning to Next will be able to keep unlimited data plans,” reports the publication.

Apple Stores will be instead pushing AT&T Next, an installment program akin to T-Mobile where “well-qualified buyers” can choose a new device and pay only the sales tax up front, with the cost of the device split into no-interest 20, 24 or 30 monthly payments.

“For Verizon customers, those who now purchase an iPhone via the Edge program will no longer be eligible for the connected Edge Up feature,” 9to5Mac has learned.

As a result, customers who became eligible for early hardware upgrades after 18 months will move back to 24 months for the standard Edge program. Lastly, Verizon is said to price-matching AT&T and kill two-year contract subsidies by the end of this summer.

Source: 9to5Mac 1, 2