It's being reporting late today that Apple will be initiating a new a program later this month that will allow users to trade-in their older iPhones for the latest model. Bloomberg cited people familiar with the plan as saying that it's a first for the company as it prepares to introduce a new version of the smartphone.
According to Bloomberg sources, Apple has teamed up with Brightstar Corp, a mobile phone distributor that runs similar trade-in programs for carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, to handle exchanges.
AT&T is currently paying as much as $200 for working iPhone 4 and 4S, which could let some customers buy an entry-level iPhone 5 for no money down.
Brightstar set up its trade-in division a year ago and is on track to buy and resell more than 15 million devices this year, according to Bela Lainck, president of the buyback and trade-in business at Miami-based Brightstar.
The company collects 80 percent of its used devices in the U.S., and resells most of them through distribution centers in 50 countries, Lainck said in an interview in late May.
Whether such a plan will actually be announced by Apple on June tenth is unknown at this time. While many in the industry are also hoping to hear more about Apple's new mid-range iPhone for emerging markets, Apple may reserve any such announcement until September this year or sometime in 2014.
A combination of aggressive trade-ins and a new mid-market iPhone would go a long way in countering some of the aggressive marketing moves including new lower end smartphones from that the likes of Samsung, Nokia and Motorola set to be released over the coming months.