It is a fabulous initiative that Apple will allow its Australian customers to trade in their iPhones and iPads for credit towards new models.
The program was launched in the United States last August and it is difficult to find data on the numbers of units it has been attracting. However, at the time of the program launch, the real motivation seemed to be from a sales generation perspective rather than a pure play for the environment. From a sales perspective, Apple had been under the pump form competitors such as Samsung in the smart phone market, and its share price had been feeling the pinch as a result. But you do suspect if the program is coming to Australia the result in consumer pull has been satisfactory enough.
The trade in program is strongly geared towards customer retention. The program in Australia will offer customers a maximum of $250 credit when they bring in an iPhone or up to $215 for an iPad, and the credit can be put towards a new version of either device. It is a very sizeable trade in value, and says to the market, our products retain their value. However, from a customer perspective, what is disappointing is that the latest models – the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iPad Air – are not eligible for the credit, nor are Apple’s first-generation models, though customers can still bring them in for recycling.
The concept of a brand seeking to find ways to retain customers within their ecosystem is a noble one. To date Apple’s suite of products has been strong enough to build a lasting loyal connection, but times are changing. The trade-in concept works well on this front, but its impact is discounted somewhat when the trade-in credit cannot be allocated against their latest models. Interestingly, this little fact also serves as a distraction and therefore tends to discount a little the environmental kudos that Apple can claim from its program.
Brand Scientist & Founder