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Why companies will give you big money for your old iPhone



But for people who want to spend even less – in one case absolutely nothing – on upgrades, Apple (AAPL) and large wireless operators are making big discounts to those who trade on their older devices.
T-Mobile (TMUS) and Verizon (VZ) offer customers trade credits ranging from $ 200 to $ 850, depending on how old their phone is and whether they already have a plan with the operator. AT&T, meanwhile, will effectively provide customers with a toll-free phone if they commit to an unlimited 30-month tariff plan, and will trade on older phones for at least $ 95. (AT&T (T) owns the parent company CNN, WarnerMedia).

Apple and other smartphone makers also offer their own trading programs, as do some third-party resellers. Apple currently offers discounts of up to $ 500 on the iPhone 1

2 line if you sell your old smartphone, depending on its age and condition.

The value of exchanging old smartphones can be surprisingly high, as the exchange has become an important element of the device life cycle. In addition to enabling users to get a new phone for a fraction of the price, it helps companies increase sales by provoking more frequent upgrades, provides carriers with a way to lure customers into long-term contracts, supplies more affordable devices for secondary markets, and provides raw materials for reusable materials. to make new phones cleaner.

The impetus for renewal

Retail applications give wireless network operators and manufacturers a way to attract new customers and prevent existing customers from giving up their products – as we saw in the free AT&T deal for the iPhone.

“This is probably closest to the resurgence of subsidies that were distributed in the United States when the iPhone first appeared on the market,” said David McQueen, director of research at technical consulting firm ABI Research.

The main problem, which aims to solve the problems of trade, is the growing tendency of smartphone users to delay their devices longer, often skipping one or two models (sometimes even more) before buying a new one.

“Motivation of subscribers to upgrade smartphones has been a problem for the past few years, as most flagships are little different from their predecessors,” McQueen said.

The iPhone 12 comes with 5G.  But not everyone will notice
While companies hope that the speeds and features of 5G provide ample reason to upgrade, industry estimates point to the fact that such capabilities are not really such an important factor for consumers. The proliferation of 5G networks around the world, which is still in its infancy, and the limited use of smartphones compared to more advanced technologies such as self-propelled machines are likely to reduce the attractiveness of some people to switch.

“At the moment, there seems to be no real reason shown [carriers] upgrade to 5G, in addition to the fact that it is sold as just another “G”, – added McQueen.

It is too early to know how well the iPhone 12 line will sell, but if 5G is not very attractive, the exchange can help make additional updates.

Back on the market

Smartphones often have a shelf life and usefulness that far exceeds the frequency of new models, giving companies an additional source of revenue even for older devices.

According to the company’s latest environmental report, Apple has sent more than 11 million devices for repair in 2019.

McQueen says phones that are not resold by smartphone operators or companies can also get insurance companies to replace lost or damaged devices for their customers or send them to emerging markets, where consumers tend to be more attentive. to the price.

According to a recent report by Counterpoint Research, last year the market for updated smartphones grew the most from regions such as India, Latin America and Africa.
iPhone 12: What you need to know about the new line of Apple 5G phones

According to analysts, the programs also sell refurbished phones to users who want to buy slightly older premium models.

“[It’s] such as the used car market; there are some people who prefer to have an older Mercedes than the 2021 Hyundai, said Ross Rubin, chief analyst at Reticle Research. “It allows them to be more ambitious, in a sense, without having to pay $ 700 or more to buy for the current generation.”

And this is a trend that is likely to intensify. Research firm IDC predicted earlier this year that in 2023, about 333 million used smartphones will be sold – almost twice as many as sold in 2018 – for a total market value of $ 67 billion.

What matters inside

Another reason why old phones are valuable to companies is that they have them.

Apple is working to limit the environmental impact of its large-scale global manufacturing operations by expanding recycling programs and committing to becoming completely carbon-neutral by 2030.

“Manufacturers put more emphasis on this, they talk about recycled materials that they use to make their phones,” Rubin said.

As part of this effort, Apple expressed its commitment to resilience when launching the iPhone on Tuesday, boasting that all magnets in the iPhone 12 line are made from 100% recycled rare earth materials. For several years, the company has been developing and demonstrating robots that take down old iPhones and share components that can be repurposed for new devices. The company also recycles other materials, such as aluminum and tungsten, which are used in new products.

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