Apple seems to have an upgrade problem and a new fix to try and entice upgrades.
Amid worries that iPhone demand is slowing and reports of Apple suppliers cutting revenue forecasts, Apple has upped its trade-in value for older iPhones for those looking to upgrade to its latest XR, XS and XS Max models using its GiveBack program.
The new values, which extend to devices ranging from the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus all the way to last year’s iPhone 8, can net you anywhere between $150 for a 6 and $200 for a 6 Plus to $300 for a 7 Plus or an 8, assuming your phone is in good condition. For reference, prior to this boost, Apple was offering just $75 for an iPhone 6 and $100 for a 6 Plus.
The iPhone 8 Plus and X are not receiving boosts in their trade-in values of $350 and $500, respectively.
You would need to buy a new iPhone during the trade-in process to qualify for the increased value. If you aren’t buying a new phone, you will get the prior value in the form of an Apple Store gift card.
At starting prices of $749 for the 64GB XR, $999 for 64GB XS and $1,099 for the 64GB XS Max, the extra credit quickly adds up to nice savings on a new phone, particularly for those on older 6 and 6S devices. But there are a few things to keep in mind.
If you are planning to pay the full price for the new phone, good news: After you trade in your old iPhone – and Apple confirms it is indeed in the condition that you claimed – Apple will refund your credit card the value of the trade-in.
The process works online or in an Apple Store, but the credit will be applied quicker in a store where you can trade in the old phone directly as opposed to shipping it in. Those who trade-in through a store will see the money returned to their credit-card accounts in three to five business days, while online trade-ins will take a few weeks as Brightstar, Apple’s partner for trade-ins, needs to evaluate it.
If you want to pay off the new phone on a carrier’s monthly installment plan or through one of Apple’s iPhone payment plans you will have the trade-in value cover the taxes and fees for the new phone, with the difference being returned to you in the form of an Apple Store gift card.
As this is an Apple Store gift card, and the processing companies for the monthly installments aren’t Apple but either a carrier or a third-party company Apple uses, you won’t be able to pay down the installments using the gift card.
If you have other items you planned to buy from the Apple Store, such as AirPods, this gift card will still come in handy. But those looking for a discount and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars immediately will still need to look elsewhere for a better deal.
Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal
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