Apple Officially Launches iPhone Upgrade Program

Cupertino offers the latest model for as little as $0 to users trading in a 4S

“It’s a beautiful time for an upgrade.” That’s the marketing tagline used by Apple throughout its retail stores (in select countries) to entice existing iPhone owners to trade in their old handsets for newer models with very attractive prices. For some, the upgrade costs literally nothing.

“It’s a beautiful time for an upgrade. You may be eligible for upgrade pricing on a new iPhone. And if you bring in your old iPhone to be recycled, you could get credit toward a new one. Ask us for details,” reads Apple’s banner hung in various retail outlets across the United States.

The Cupertino, California-based juggernaut is now offering increased trade-in credits for iPhone 4 owners ($99 / €70) and iPhone 4S owners ($199 / €144), essentially allowing some users to upgrade to an iPhone 5s (which sells for $199 / €144 on contract) for free.

Depending on your account status with your carrier, you could be eligible for a $0 upgrade to the latest and greatest iPhone model.

Apple’s reuse and recycling program was kicked off last year at Tim Cook’s initiative, after learning of the high success rate of trade-in companies like Gazelle.

The Cupertino giant decided it would not lose this lucrative business to third parties, and started allowing customers to come into its own stores with an old iPhone model and ask for credits to be used toward the purchase of a newer version.

“Bring your iPhone to any Apple Retail Store and we’ll give you immediate credit for its value toward the purchase of a new one,” Apple states on the Reuse and Recycling page.

You can even do it online. All you have to do is answer a few questions about the state of your iPhone (age, wear and tear, battery health, water damage, etc.) and get an offer that’s guaranteed for 30 days. Then you ship your iPhone for free to PowerON (Apple’s recycling partner), and after evaluating your iPhone, the company will email you an Apple Store Gift Card that you can use to shave off some money on your next iPhone purchase.

You can do the same with a used Mac, iPad, iPod, and even a regular PC or a smartphone from another company. “Depending on the device, you may even get an Apple Store Gift Card for its value,” Apple says.

Visit Apple’s Reuse and Recycling page to learn more, or visit your local shop and see if they’re offering the deal in your country.

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