Apple buying back, recycling iPhone 4S

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Apple is expanding its iDevice buyback program to include the iPhone 4S.  Many take this as further indication that a new iPhone will be launching this month.  The 4S buyback is part of Apple’s recycling program.

Apple stores buy back Apple devices from users looking to trade up, taking both inoperable electronics (phones, tablets, notebooks) and ones in perfectly good working order for resale.  In return, sellers get store gift cards to use towards their next purchase or for anything else in the Apple Store, including iTunes.

While the iPhone 4S was not announced as a new buyback item, it was quietly added to the list last week and recent retail discounts on the phone are both seen an indication that Apple will be launching a media event for a new iPhone sometime very soon – most assume this month.

Currently, Apple is paying over $200 for a working 32GB iPhone 4S if it has all accessories.  One in good shape can fetch as high as $280, in fact, and is pretty close to what many who purchased a subsidized phone from a plan last year through Verizon or AT&T probably paid.

Apple isn’t alone with this type of program.  Most of the major cellular carriers are doing so now as well, with all Apple carriers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon) all offering buybacks for in-store (online or off) credit. The difference is that those carriers will only sell you a phone that works on their network, so if you switch, you’re out of luck.

Apple has partnered with PowerON for this buyback and to whom devices mailed in go for evaluation.  While your dollar figure might vary according to your phone’s type and condition, this may be a good way to take some of the sting out of a costly upgrade.


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