Apple quietly introduces recycling program


Can you get $345 worth of Apple store credit for a year-old iPhone? The answer is yes. There was always a trade-in deal to be had, even on Craigslist, but now you can swap your old iPhone or Mac or iPad into Apple directly and get an Apple credit.

"It's very common for third parties, there's even kiosks in malls now that do that. But I haven't seen this from Apple before. It does suggest that an iPhone is coming and of course we know one is coming," said CNET Senior managing editor Kent German. "Certainly Apple is trying to get people to buy the new phone and getting them up for that."

An announcement about an iPhone5 is widely anticipated on Sept. 12 with the phones getting shipped by the 21st. This new recycle program has iPhone users answering a few questions online about their iPhone and whether it's got a cracked screen or moderate scuffs. Then an estimate of a trade in credit is immediately generated.

But you can't turn in the used phones at the store. They have to be shipped in and if you exaggerated what great condition your phone's in when it really got dropped in a lake, then you might get less than promised online.

Most devoted Apple fans seem intrigued by the Apple offer and they kind of understand why.

"There are so many third party providers, it's quite likely, and Apple wants to partake in that as well. That doesn't surprise me. I think it's a good incentive to turn your phones directly back into Apple and that's actually something I'd be more inclined to do with an old phone," said Lauren Esparza, an iPhone user.

"Keep people like me from lagging behind. I'm perfectly happy, but they want people to ramp up to their newest and better things," said Bill Lee, an iPhone user.

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