Apple’s China trade-in program only went live today, but already it’s on the receiving end of criticism, as would-be sellers are disappointed to find that Apple is offering far less credit than is offered by private third-party buyers.
Welcome to the club, we say.
The situation is one that is familiar to customers in countries where Apple has long offered the ability to trade in old iPhones or iPads as part of an upgrade. Essentially, Apple is offering you convenience over value, since what you get is the chance to cut out the middleman by selling your old handset at the same place you’re buying your new one.
The low prices are apparently causing consternation in China, however, with iPhone sellers dismayed to discover that Apple Stores will only reimburse them 1,500 yuan ($240) for an iPhone 5s, 500 yuan ($80) for an iPhone 4S, and 250 yuan ($40) for an iPhone 4. These prices remain the same regardless of the memory size and condition of the handsets.
The trade-in program covers only those devices purchased in Greater China, which includes the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
According to earlier reports, Foxconn will buy up the second-hand 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. That’s all the more reason to undercut sellers in the name of profits.