Apple Just Made a Big Change to Its iPhone Trade-In Policy

Apple has made an important change to the way you get credits on trade-ins through its online store.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Now, when you offer to trade in an old device for something new, Apple will assign a value and give you an immediate credit for it. That stands in stark contrast to the company previously requiring you to send in a device, evaluating it, and sending you a gift card for the value after you've made your purchase. Apple-tracking site 9to5Mac was the first to discover the change.

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Of course, getting an immediate credit on something you want to trade in is important. If you need that trade-in credit to defray the cost of your purchase, the last thing you want to do is wait for Apple to send you a gift card after you've turned it in. If you have an old iPhone you're still using and want an iPhone X, that interim period without a phone could be a real challenge.

When you head over to the Apple GiveBack page now, you'll see an option to tell the company that you have a smartphone to trade in. Simply provide some information about the trade-in and hand over your serial number and Apple will let you know what it's worth. That credit will then be applied right away, according to 9to5Mac.

There are some limitations. For one, Apple is only allowing those who have the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus or older to trade in to get the instant credit. 9to5Mac says Apple could add iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X at some point in the near future. The limitation is likely due to Apple wanting to keep costs down. And it would make sense that Apple would expand the program to newer iPhones after it unveils new iPhones in September.

What isn't clear, however, is how Apple might handle a trade-in that doesn't live up to what the customer says. For instance, if Apple is told that the iPhone is in good working condition but determines it's not, it's unknown who bears the burden of that difference in value after a purchase is made.
Apple's instant GiveBack credit is available now.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.