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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Prior to delivering the keynote address at the Ceres sustainability gala in New York City this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke briefly with GQ about the company's environmental efforts, iPhone trade-ins, and more.


Apple has heavily promoted its iPhone trade-in program at its retail stores and on its website over the last year, and Cook said the increased emphasis has been effective, noting that a third or more of customers that visit its retail stores end up trading in an older device for a newer one.

"This year we've really moved the dial on getting the consumer to think about trade-in," he said. "We were up to a third or more of the people that come into our stores that are trading in, and this number is trending up."

Apple's estimated trade-in values currently range from up to $100 for the iPhone 6s to up to $600 for the iPhone XS Max in the United States, with values varying in other countries. The credit can be applied towards your next Apple Store purchase or paid out in the form of an Apple Store gift card.

When asked whether Apple had a plan to encourage more third-party accessory makers to be more sustainable, Cook suggested that Apple is considering introducing some kind of sticker or label that indicates a particular product meets certain environmental standards, be it an iPhone case or a charging cable.

"[…] That is something we're talking about," he said. "I don't want to pre-announce it."

An eco-friendly badge would likely only apply to Apple-certified accessories that license hardware like the Lightning connector through the MFi Program.

Apple received an award from Ceres this week for its sustainability initiatives, including all of its retail stores, offices, data centers, and other facilities being powered by 100 percent renewable energy since 2018. Apple also has a recycling robot named Daisy that is capable of disassembling 200 iPhones per hour.

Apple has a more ambitious, long-term goal to create a fully closed-loop supply chain, in which it would be able to stop mining raw materials and instead build new products entirely with recycled materials. Cook said he is "not worried" about Apple eventually figuring out ways to achieve that feat.

Article Link: Tim Cook Says One-Third or More of Apple Store Visitors Now Using Trade-In Program
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macrumors 603
Jul 11, 2008
I still don't understand how Apple is making money on these trade ins. I mean, I just traded in my XS Max for 11 Pro Max. I figured my XS max still has $700 left to pay off, but Apple took it back no problem. So I guess they are turning around and selling my XS Max for a profit, but I don't see where Apple is selling used XS Max's to people.


macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
Could see this being very successful as most people won't go through the trouble of eBaying their phones / hardware.

I still don't understand how Apple is making money on these trade ins. I mean, I just traded in my XS Max for 11 Pro Max. I figured my XS max still has $700 left to pay off, but Apple took it back no problem. So I guess they are turning around and selling my XS Max for a profit, but I don't see where Apple is selling used XS Max's to people.

Guessing they have someone selling stuff on eBay etc. for higher prices. If they break even, they're getting some people to buy phones sooner they might normally. That said I wouldn't be surprised if used XS Max's in good condition are going for ~$900 on eBay. I sell my current model iPhone a month before the next year release on eBay for $100 less than I bought it for (done this yearly since my 4s). It only works on iPhone's though (and only so far), over in Android world Google's Pixel 3XL had lost 3/4th's its value a month before the Pixel 4 came out and the s9 had lost about the same amount as the Pixel.
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macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2016
It’s funny. I read this and thought, “No way it’s one third. My wife, mom, and sister just bought iPhones and none of them traded in their phone for a terribly low price......... OH GOD DID MY MOM OR SISTER TRADE IN THEIR IPHONE FOR A TERRIBLY LOW PRICE?!”


macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2013
Kansas City
It seems like on iPhone trade ins they offer the same value no matter what size storage your device has.. so it may be "okay-ish" if you have the base model. You'd be getting rekt if you traded in a 512gb iPhone.... ouch ?
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macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2015
2/3rds of customers are smart then. Sold an old XS Max 512 for 950 and that was on the low end. I think Apple would have given me maybe $500? Also series 4 cellar watch for 320 versus apple offered me 100 for trade on it.

Is it convenient, yes. Is it smart, definitely not.
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macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2010
East Coast, USA
They give more than the carriers typically do and give cash on the spot. That convenience is worth something to many. I certainly wouldn't sell and ship an iPhone to someone on eBay because there are just too many scams. Meeting people locally is also a PITA. Typically I just keep my old phones and they become hand me downs anyway.


macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2016
I was just curious how much they list for my $1200 iPhone X. It looks like @$400 - they sadly don't honor the premium price they charge for these new devices. I'm guessing they also don't pay any extra for the increased memory in these devices.


macrumors 6502
May 6, 2008
Yet no product/program (in fact nothing but anti-patterns) for consumers who want to maximize the life of their phone. E.g. Apple require all its devices sent to third party recyclers to be shredded thereby ensuring no replacement parts without Apple profiteering by monopolizing parts and replacements - and driving replacement demand to next to zero. Tim has done a great job maximizing shareholder returns by being able to ignore negative externalities. I wonder, if during his many trips to China, whether Tim has visited the horrible environmental disasters that are killing regions (and likely people) in the rare earth mining centers. But you know, you go Tim Apple - the world suffers because we cannot properly account for the costs imposed by their drive to make very expensive (enviro costs) devices disposable. Take your soon to be billion $$ from your time at Apple and run for political office.


Jul 12, 2016
Yeah I traded once for connivance. Never again, what Apple gives you is not even remotely competitive. Another notch on the belt for Apples bulging anti-consumerism.

It may not be ‘competitive’ in terms of the resale market, but I would rather trade into Apple/my carrier versus selling my phone with amount of fraud that’s out there on craigslist, Swappa, eBay, etc. It’s just a ‘safe bet’ for those who are more cautionary, and for some, we don’t need to maximize our profits when trading in the iPhone.
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