For the past year Apple has heavily promoted its trade-in offers to help boost new iPhone sales, even offering consumers up to $100 more on old iPhones when purchasing a new one.
But the company has now reined in trade-in values on used iPhones across the board. It’s cut the top trade-in value for the iPhone XS Max from $600 to $500, as spotted by MacRumors and German Apple-focused tech site iFun.de, which found that the iPhone XS Max trade-in value dropped from €500 to €430 ($556 to $478).
The iPhone XS model saw the heftiest cut, while other models were devalued by between $80 and $20. Across all iPhone models, Apple has reduced the trade-in value by between 15% and 17%.
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For example, the iPhone XS maximum trade-in value fell from $500 to $420, the iPhone XR fell from $370 to $300, and the iPhone X fell from $400 to $320. The top trade-in value of the iPhone 6s fell from $100 to $80. Apple offers less if the screen or other components are damaged.
The cuts are even steeper when it comes to estimated iPad trade-in values, which have fallen by between 25% to 30%.
The top trade-in value for an iPad Pro is $220, down from $290, while the iPad’s trade-in value dropped from $140 to $100. The iPad Air has fallen from $100 to $70, and the iPad mini at most is worth $80, down from $120.
Apple hasn’t explained why it cut trade-in valuations just now. The company is still keen on consumers upgrading hardware but it is also in the middle of a shift towards services revenue and driving subscriptions Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay and new services like Apple Card. From a services revenue perspective, customers with an old iPhone are just as valuable as customers with a new one.
The company last week boasted that App Store customers spent $1.42bn over the Christmas break, up 16% on last year during that period.
It also noted that Apple Card holders had used it to purchase new iPhones with monthly installments over 24 months with zero interest.
Apple has promoted its trade-in scheme as a good outcome for the environment. It’s certainly easier for consumers to just hand in an old iPhone when buying a new one, but consumers can typically get more by selling it to another person.
Apple has also cut the top estimated trade-in values for some MacBooks and the Apple Watch Series 4, which dropped from $110 to $100.