What is Apple Renew and How Does it Work?

It’s always exciting to get a new gadget, but few people rarely stop to consider what they should do with the old device they're replacing. Simply throwing away something like a phone or laptop is not only harmful to the environment, it’s also potentially tossing money in the trash. But if you’re an owner of an Apple device (or even a laptop PC), the company has come up with a super simple way to trade-in or recycle your device in exchange for gift card value. 

The first method is to simply bring your product to an Apple store and have a customer service agent walk you through how to properly trade in your device. If you don't live near an Apple store, all you need to do is head over to Apple’s recycling page to start the process online.

You can trade in any iPhone, iPad, iPod or laptop, and if your device is relatively new and in decent condition, you’ll get an Apple gift card back in return. (Unless the device is an iPod, in which case all you get is a warm fuzzy feeling from helping save the environment.)

Payouts can range from as little as $5 or $10 to upwards of $300 for devices such as an unlocked iPhone 6 Plus with 128GB of storage.

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After moseying on over to the recycling page, simply select what device you’d like to recycle, and follow the steps on the page. You’ll need to know the specs and model of your device, including the serial number, along with an estimate of what kind of shape it's in.

After filling in all the information, you’ll be given a quote for how much your device is worth, and a pre-paid mailing label than you can attach to a shipping box before sending your device out in the mail. It’s important to know that the quote you receive isn’t set in stone, and your actual payout will only come after the device has been evaluated by one of Apple’s recycling partners.

Once your device is sent out, you'll just have to sit back and wait for your gift card, which could take a few weeks or more depending on shipping.

Sam is a Senior Writer at Engadget and previously worked at Gizmodo as a Senior Reporter. Before that, he worked at Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer and Senior Product Review Analyst, overseeing benchmarks and testing for countless product reviews. He was also an archery instructor and a penguin trainer too (really).