Today, Apple started a long-rumored iPhone trade-in program that allows the customer to use the credit towards another iPhone purchase. I'm gamed. I've got an iPhone 4 that I love for them to take off my hand. It's a Verizon one so I reckon there is limited use for anyone of my family members (and plus, they don't deserve it).
Here's the thing, customers can get up to $280 for the trade-in. So you know that you're not going to be getting the best deal in town. For that, I would still look else where. However, the convenience of this is just too much to pass up for me.
And there's one further restriction. You can only use your particular trade-in gift card to buy the iPhone of your choice for the same carrier. A big "doh" if you ask me. It totally makes no sense to me. I have since begun migrating away from Verizon towards T-Mobile and I want an unlocked version.
However, for most users, this probably isn't an issue.
Recommendation? Shopping around if you know your way around trade-in programs. For convenience, it doesn't get any better than this.
For Apple, this offers a very valuable customer experience. It allows the customer seamless exchange of iPhone. At the same time, it allows Apple to control and monitor the flow of iPhones. It's likely Apple will reintroduce these devices in emerging markets where it has almost to negligible exposure that will do nothing to hurt its high-end iPhone sales.
For users, you get convenience and for Apple, they sell two iPhones - the one to you and the one you sold back to Apple that they then sell to someone who buys it and doesn't buy an Android phone.