We first heard rumors of Apple's plans to start an iPhone trade-in program back in June and it seems those rumors are resurfacing ahead of September's yet-to-be-confirmed iPhone 5S event. 9to5 Mac cites sources with knowledge of the initiative that say Apple is putting the finishing touches on launch preparations for the iPhone trade-in program.
Apple releases a brand new iPhone with new features and upgraded hardware every year. This can put shoppers in a bit of a tight spot when it comes to deciding whether to get this year's iPhone or wait for next year's model. Especially when you consider the fact that rumors regarding the new iPhone will start right after the current year's model is announced (and these rumors are usually based on the features Apple omitted from the latest model).
Apple's iPhone trade-in program aims to reduce costs for consumers while also increasing sales for the iPhone. The new program would see customers upgrade to a newer model of iPhone at a reduced cost provided they relinquish their old iPhone to Apple. While it will save customers money, it will also benefit Apple hugely in terms of brand loyalty and user 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 when it becomes available.
9to5 Mac writes that Apple will start training retail employees on the program this week. Employees apparently have to undergo a minimum of two hours of training and this has to be done by the end of the first week of September. The Cupertino-based company has also reportedly started testing the program internally at a number of its retail stores and hopes to launch the program in September.