Apple iPhone trade-ins may be on tap
CEO Tim Cook seems willing -- desperate? -- to get sales of the more lucrative latest models climbing faster.
According to Bloomberg News, the company plans to allow customers to trade in their old iPhones to upgrade to the latest iPhone 5 models. The reason is simple: Too many consumers are satisfied with their existing iPhones or aren't impressed enough with the iPhone 5 to ditch the models they own now. Bloomberg says the program will begin this month, but Apple declined to comment to the news service.
Apple sold a "record" 47.8 million iPhones in the most recent quarter, but it didn't provide a breakdown by type. Many analysts have said a good portion of those sales are for earlier, less expensive iPhones. Clearly, that's something Apple needs to change.
Apple has tapped Brightstar (STAR), which runs programs for AT&T (T) and T-Mobile, to run the exchange, which won't be cheap for Apple. As Bloomberg noted, AT&T pays as much as $200 for iPhone 4s and 4Ss that are in working order. Many are refurbished and sold overseas.
The move by CEO Tim Cook is significant and long overdue. About 11% of smartphone buyers use a trade-in, and Apple consumers, like everyone else, appreciate a good deal. They're also getting tougher to impress, which is worrying Wall Street. Apple shares have slumped by nearly 20% this year, missing the broader market's rebound as investors have grown increasingly concerned about slowing growth. Analysts are forecasting Apple sales in the current quarter of $35.2 billion, an increase of less than 1% year over year.
The trends aren't friendly to Apple. A recent analyst report from Canaccord Genuity shows Samsung has surpassed Apple in the U.S. smartphone market, thanks to the surging popularity of the Korean company's Galaxy S4.
Apple's real test won't come from the fanboys and fangirls who waited outside the company's stores to be the first to have the latest iPhone. It will come from average folks, who are perfectly content using a phone that may not have the newest technology but is more than adequate to meet their needs.
Though Cook has repeatedly assured the public that Apple still has plenty of cool products in development, the fact that the company is considering iPhone trade-ins indicates they may not be coming too soon.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
Trade in your old iphone for a new iphone, lol
Hey wait my new phone is the same one I just traded in.
Sell that garbage iphone on craigslist and get a Nokia Lumia.
Trade that horrible iPhone in for the better Windows 8 phone, such as the Nokia Lumina 925. Forget Apple completely forever!
How will Apple import all of those used worthless phones out of the US if the import ban doesn't get blocked -- you know the one where Apple got caught stealing (again) innovation from Samsung.
For a company that thinks they are the innovators of everything they pay a lot of royalties to Microsoft and a huge list of others. And they don't pay on a ton of patents they should be paying on. Didn't Apple make Siri? Oh wait they bought that app and the ruined it, lol!
I guess as long as you pretend to invent something its yours in Apple's eyes. Too bad Apple will be going out of business in the next few years because they stole so many innovations that they haven't paid on in the last 5 years they will be getting billions of dollars in judgments and have even larger royalties to pay on new products. Plus the fines from antitrust suits in a few different countries including the price fixing on eBooks in the USA. Pretty low to try and raise the price of books just to make a few dollars. Apple doesn't want kids to read, they support childhood illiteracy :)
Before anyone cries that Samsung wasn't being fair and didn't license Apple the patents remember in court Apple said that Apple didn't use Samsung's patents and refused to pay Samsung so it was all Apple refusing to make a deal with Samsung. I never heard Apple say we did use Samsung's patent they just wouldn't charge us. I did hear then say we didn't use their patent over and over again.
And then there will be people calling Apple and American company and Samsung a foreign one but funny enough Samsung has factories in the US while Apple has zero and Apple hides 80% of its money outside of the USA and refuses to bring it over here going as low as to borrow money here while Samsung has a corp. in New York that they keep money in. So the lines of which one is really a USA business is a little blurred because it is looking like Samsung is more of a US business than Apple.
BTW I like Microsoft more than any of them before fanboys ro sheep followers start slinging some BS slander
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