Taipei / San Francisco, March 26: Apple plans to introduce a trade-in program for iPhones in China, people familiar with the effort said, after a similar program bolstered sales in the US
Consumers will be able to take older iPhones to Apple stores in China for credit against the company’s products as soon as March 31, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Foxconn Technology Group will buy and re-sell the phones as part of the program, one of the people said. Natalie Kerris, an Apple representative, didn’t respond to a request for comment. Foxconn declined to comment.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has said China is poised to overtake the U.S. as Apple’s biggest market, and he’s working to about double the number of stores in Greater China by the middle of next year. Chinese demand for larger-screen iPhones helped fuel a record profit of $18 billion during the final quarter last year.
Its China trade-in plan follows an expansion of a similar program started in 2013 in the U.S., where the company is accepting non-Apple devices for the first time.
“It has certainly been a driver for sales pickup,” said Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics LLC, who estimates about half the people buying iPhones in the U.S. during the final quarter of 2014 traded in their older phones.