For users in the US, Apple has a trade-in program that lets them hand over their older iPhones for store credit, which can then be used to upgrade to a newer iPhone. Apple is now believed to be making a few changes to this program. Apple Store’s Reuse and Recycle iPhone trade-in program will now let users return iPhones with damaged screens, cameras, or buttons, and still get store credits, 9To5Mac reports. The company’s reasoning behind this change is to encourage iPhone users to opt for upgrades, instead of just going for repairs. Also Read - Beware! This new iOS bug breaks WiFi on iPhones: Here's a quick fix for itAlso Read - PUBG New State receives over 17 million pre-registrations as closed alpha testing ends
It seems to be a win-win situation for both Apple and its customers — it ensures more users are upgrading to the latest iPhones while users would get more value for their busted devices. This program also comes at a time when Apple is increasing its focus on emerging markets like India. Let us explain how these two could be connected. Also Read - iPhone selling in LG stores? Apple is apparently in talks for a new deal
Emerging markets, especially India, are seen as an important market for Apple’s growth in the next decade. In India, Apple has filed applications to set up Apple Stores, and is also seeking permission from the government to sell and even “manufacture” refurbished iPhones in the country.
In its application Apple mentions that it plans on importing and selling certified pre-owned (CPO) iPhones. These trade-in programs could be one of the biggest sources for importing pre-owned iPhones to India. Apple is also looking for permission to import used iPhones and refurbish them in India itself. It should be noted that Apple s manufacturing partner, Foxconn, is already active in India with a manufacturing unit in Telangana and has plans to open multiple manufacturing units in the country as a part of the Indian government s Make in India initiative.
It is important to note that refurbished iPhones doesn’t mean old or second-hand devices. Used iPhones that have been returned to Apple are put through the same quality tests as new iPhones and any part not up to the mark is replaced with brand new ones. These units get a new serial number, a new IMEI number, as well as the standard one-year warranty.
So for example, if someone in the US was to return an iPhone with a damaged screen or buttons, Apple will put it through all the tests and replace parts that are below the prescribed quality. One of the biggest advantages of a refurbished iPhone is the relatively low price tag. In a price conscious market like India, refurbished iPhones are likely to be a huge hit among people who either cannot afford a new iPhone, or those looking to replace their low-end iPhone with a more current model.
Apart from trade-ins, Apple has also launched an Upgrade Program for iPhone in the US. This was announced during the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which lets users upgrade to the latest iPhone every year. The units Apple would get from this program could also be refurbished and sold in other markets.
CEO Tim Cook has acknowledged the importance of India for Apple, which was reflected in the recent quarterly earnings as well. While the company recorded its slowest-ever growth in a quarter, sales in India were up 76 percent. Cook underscored the importance of India at a town hall recently, where he reportedly said India would be an important growth are for Apple in the next decade. According to market research firms, India overtook the US to become the second largest market in the world with active smartphone users.