Apple will apparently offer customers gift cards for new a new iPhone in exchange for the old one.
It seems Apple's iPhone trade-in program may launch earlier than originally anticipated. On Tuesday rumors suggested the iPhone upgrade program would launch in September but the latest reports say Apple will launch the program by the end of August.
9to5 Mac reports that the iPhone trade-in program will launch on Friday, August 30, and will be operated by BrightStar. This matches up with rumors from earlier this year that said BrightStar would be working with Apple on a trade-in program. The program will see customers offered gift cards towards new, on-contract and in-store activated iPhones. The value of each gift card will depend on the condition of the iPhone the customer is trading in, with Apple taking into account hardware damage, the condition of the buttons and screen, liquid damage and the whether the phone can be turned on and used normally.
Though yesterday's report said Apple store employees had to complete two hours of training on the program before the end of next week, 9to5 Mac is now saying that employees are being offered overtime to complete the program by the end of this week. The program will launch initially only in the United States (with international markets to follow at a later stage) and will cover the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5. Customers with devices that are deemed to have no value will be able to bring their devices to the Apple store for recycling.
Apple is expected to launch the new iPhone 5S and budget iPhone 5C at an event on September 10. No doubt the company wants to get the trade-in program up and running smoothly before customers rush to buy the new iPhones.