Melodramatic Apple video urges iPhone trade-ins

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Apple’s new video positions trading in your old iPhone as a moral decision, not a financial one.
Apple’s new video positions trading in your old iPhone as a moral decision, not a financial one.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s latest video takes trading in your old iPhone from a simple transaction to more of an emotional journey. Even so, trade-ins have become an important tool this company is using to spur sales.

Watch the new video now:

This video, “Apple Trade In — Do one last great thing with your iPhone” reminds watchers that their iPhone has been with them for some of life’s great moments: weddings, births and vacations.

The voiceover says, “You’ve done great things with your iPhone, but a some point you’ll be ready for something new. You can easily trade it in with Apple, so it can be refurbished and put back into the world. so someone new can do their own great things with it.”

The video seems to be positioning an iPhone trade-in as a favor you’re doing for the next owner, the Earth, and for your iPhone itself. Not just a way to save money on a new one.

Apple trade-ins are front and center

While Apple’s latest video makes no mention of trade-ins being done to lower the cost of a new model, Apple puts an emphasis on that elsewhere. Especially on Apple.com.

After pressing the “Buy” button for a new iPhone on this company’s website, the first thing on the resulting page is a link to trade-in a previous model.

And before displaying the regular price for the new handset, Apple’s website lists the price with a trade in. This seems designed to make customers think that an iPhone XS, for example, is $699 rather than $999. Actually, this iOS model is $699 only for someone trading in an iPhone 8 or iPhone 7 Plus.