iPhone trade-in: Apple eyeing new in-store program?

iPhone trade-in program? As Apple preps for the arrival of a new smart phone, an iPhone trade-in program could help the Cupertino company clear out old stock. 

Fencing used for construction of the Central Subway obscures Apple's flagship retail store in San Francisco, Calif., in this May 15, 2013, file photo.

Apple will soon implement an in-store iPhone trade-in program in which old devices may be put toward an iPhone 5, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported today. 

According to Bloomberg, Apple will work with mobile distributor BrightStar to roll out the exchange program, which would allow consumers to trade in dated iPhone models for the iPhone 5. Neither Apple nor BrightStar is commenting – Bloomberg is sourcing its report to "people with knowledge of the plans" – but the whole thing does make a lot of sense. 

At some point this fall, Apple will unveil a new smart phone, possibly called the iPhone 5S. In the meantime, it has a lot of iPhone 5 stock it would like to unload. A trade-in program would help reinvigorate iPhone 5 sales. 

"It's a great way for Apple to get their best customers to upgrade more frequently and more affordably by providing a credit for the old device that they wouldn't use anyway," Israel Ganot, CEO of the trade-in service Gazelle told Mashable today. 

Of course, as Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch notes today, this isn't the first time Apple has tried something like this. Back in 2012, the Cupertino company partnered with PowerOn to establish the "Apple Recycling Program," which allowed users to mail in their aging iPhones in exchange for Apple gift certificates.

The difference with the new program, Mr. Etherington writes, is that this one will be "available only at Apple retail locations, allowing for in-person trade-ins of devices that would happen on the spot, allowing them to walk right out with a new device after 'receiving payments' for their older devices." Instant gratification, in other words. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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