Apple has begun offering store credit to people who trade in their phones when switching to an iPhone. The company quietly changed its retail store information pages to say that people can “Get credit when you recycle your eligible iPhone, iPad, or select smartphone from another manufacturer.”
That last bit is key – up until now, Apple wasn’t taking trade-ins for any hardware except its own. Now, people can get credit towards a new iPhone when they’re switching from another platform. That’s important, since more Android users are switching to the iPhone 6 than have switched with Apple’s previous three phone launches.
We’re also nearing the launch of the Apple Watch, which requires people own an iPhone. Since that device costs at least $349, people making the switch from Android to pick up one of Apple’s timepieces will likely be even more interested in saving money on a combined smartphone/smartwatch purchase.
People shouldn’t expect every phone to work with the program, though: while the company is taking Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices, not every item will be worth enough for Apple to trade it in.
It’s unlikely that the deal will result in as big a payout for users who otherwise would have sold their phones themselves, but it’s a convenient way to knock a chunk off what would otherwise be an even bigger price tag for a new device.