Apple releases a brand new iPhone every single year. The issue is that they sometimes don't contain any significant upgrade. Worse still, sometimes they include features that really ought to have made it into the previous year's model. However, it seems Apple may have come up with a solution to appease users tired of feeling like their new iPhone is only ever a few months away from being out of date.
Bloomberg reports that Apple is reportedly planning a trade-in program that would run out of its retail stores. The news outlet cites people with knowledge of the plans that say Apple is partnering with phone distributor BrightStar to run the program. BrightStar already handles trade-ins for AT&T and T-Mobile.
The idea is to reduce the out-of-pocket cost to consumers while increasing phone sales. Under the new program, customers would upgrade to the iPhone 5 and relinquish their old iPhone to Apple. Though it will no doubt save customers money, the program, should it come to fruition, will also work towards brand loyalty and customer retention. People are less likely to move to another smartphone platform if they know that Apple will cut them a deal on the newest model of iPhone.
Neither Apple nor BrightStar would discuss the rumors with Bloomberg. If there's any truth to these reports, we expect we'll learn more once Apple has a new iPhone to launch, which could be as soon as next week, at WWDC in San Francisco.