Apple has heavily promoted their trade-in program in recent years, encouraging users to give up their old iPhones in exchange for a discount on a new model. Over 1 and a half 3 of Apple Store customers now utilize this program, but it’s left many people wondering why Apple even wants our old iPhones, here is why.
It’s no coincidence that Apple began offering discounts with trade Inns in 2013 when they experienced their first quarterly profit decline in a decade. And started aggressively promoting the trade-in program in 2017 when they released the $1000 iPhone 10.
It solved 2 problems the company faced: slowing iPhone sales due to market saturation and users waiting longer to upgrade due to the iPhone’s price rising year after year. Trade Inns bring down the device’s price and allow more users to upgrade sooner.
But what does Apple do with all those old iPhones? Well, if it’s in good working condition. And refurbish the device and resell it in emerging markets like India, Latin America, and Africa. That way Apple can directly compete in the used smartphone market while also selling a device twice that only had to be manufactured once. But if the phone is in too poor condition to sell, Apple recycles it.
They actually created a robot called Daisy specifically for this purpose. It’s able to disassemble 200 iPhones an hour while recovering recyclable materials that would otherwise be left in landfills. This approach was required in order to achieve Apple’s goal of a closed loop supply chain where all new products would be manufactured without pulling new materials from the Earth.
Apple has yet to achieve the goal, but they are taking steps like using 100% recycled rare earth materials in the iPhone 12, so the iPhone trade-in program benefits the customer by making their new device more affordable. Apple by boosting sales of new iPhones plus sales of older refurbished ones. Models and benefits the environment by allowing devices to be used to their full potential before being recycled.