Apple was initially expected to launch an iPhone trade-in program in June, but never did. Now the rumors are back with sources saying that Apple begun informing employees internally about a new program that will allow users to trade in their older model iPhone for a new shiny one.
The program is set to begin sometime next month, but there is no official launch date as of yet. Some hints point at an August 30th roll out with a full US launch in September. Although there is no hard evidence, most are assuming Apple to reveal the program along with a new line of iPhones at its as of yet, unannounced event on September 10.
Empty retail boxes have begun making their way to Apple Stores and reports say that internal pilot testing of the program has already begun in certain retail locations.
During last month's earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said that he is in no way opposed to a trade-in program, continuing with “I see channels doing it, and I like the environmental aspect of it, and so that part of it really is encouraging to me.”
The trade in program is inline with reports from earlier this year that had Cook disappointed with Apple Store iPhone sales numbers. At the time, Cook told employees that more than 80% of iPhones are sold through other channels.
The trade-in initiative is also likely expected to increase foot traffic, and in turn impulse purchases at Apple's retail locations.