Apple continued its drive to grow its brand in China today with the announcement that customers in the country can now trade in their old iPhones and iPads to let them upgrade to the latest models.
“Apple Retail Stores in China are launching a new programme to assist customers who wish to bring in their previous-generation iPhone or iPad for recycling,” Apple spokeswoman Kitty Potter told the South China Morning Post newspaper. “In addition to helping the environment, customers will be able to receive a credit for their returned iPhone or iPad that they can use toward the purchase of a new [device].”
The significance of the program can’t be underestimated for Apple. According to Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner, in the fourth quarter of last year, around half of the record-setting people of people who bought iPhones traded in older devices in order to do so.
China continues to be one of Apple’s most crucial markets, which Tim Cook has said will soon overtake the U.S. in terms of being the company’s biggest customer base. Having recently taken the top spot for smartphone sales in China for the first time ever, Apple has also beaten out the likes of Gucci and Chanel to be named China’s favorite luxury brand.
It was previously reported that Foxconn will buy the second-hand iOS devices traded in as part of the new program, repair them if necessary, and then sell them online using e-commerce websites such as FLNet and Alibaba’s Taobao online store.
The trade-in program covers devices purchased in the Greater China region, which covers the China mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.