Apple will soon offer customers the option to trade older iPhones for credit toward the iPhone 5 in an attempt to boost sales, according to a new report.
Citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the plans, Bloomberg on Thursday said Apple would start an iPhone trade-in program "this month". Brightstar, a mobile device distributor that runs AT&T and T-Mobile's trade-ins, will allegedly spearhead the move.
Apple currently offers a recycling program for devices like iPhones, iPads, Macs, and PCs, but it has never offered a direct trade-in value for used devices. Customers who are interested in trading their iPhones will apparently have to visit official Apple retail stores, but they will also receive their payment immediately.
The traded iPhones will then purportedly go to emerging markets, as demand for pricey iPhones is quite low in those regions.
Many rumours and alleged leaks have long suggested Apple plans to offer a low-cost iPhone for customers unable to afford a top-tier version, and such reports have even claimed the company would release a budget model in 2013. Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference will kick off next Monday, but only a redesigned iOS and possibly a few MacBook refreshes are expected.
Samsung and other mobile manufacturers have given Apple a run for its money in recent years, but the iPhone still holds its own and makes waves wherever it lands. However, a trade-in program from Apple will likely boost iPhone sales even further and help the company to reclaim some lost market share.