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How Does Apple Trade-In Work

How Does Apple Trade-In Work? 2021

by Daniel Moore

Buying a new phone is exciting, It’s like getting a brand new toy, but sometimes these toys can be quite expensive, and sometimes even if there is no financial constraint, we may have too many existing devices that we need to get rid of before getting a new phone.

Although there are many choices available, ranging from carriers to big-box stores, you should look into Apple’s trade-in program.

The service allows you to trade-in your iPhone for credit toward a new phone or against your carrier’s monthly payments, either in-store or online.

You will get up to $500 for your iPhone 11 Pro Max if you trade it in.

Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s trade-in program.

How Does Apple Trade-In Work?

Apple’s trade-in is a service that allows you to exchange your existing Apple devices for credit that you can use when buying a new device.

Is this related to the iPhone Upgrade Program?

No. Apple’s iPhone upgrade allows you to pay the full cost of an iPhone over 24 months.

In this program, you’re eligible for an iPhone upgrade when you trade-in your current device after 12 payments.

Benefits of the Apple Trade-in program

The Apple Trade-in Program has a few benefits such as

  • You get to see the current value of your device almost instantly. All you will have to do is answer a couple of questions pertaining to the condition of your device and you will be either provided with an Apple Gift Card of the value, instant Credit at an Apple Store or if you’d like then you can recycle the device for Free.
  • For those who are unaware of how to back-up your Apple device, the representative at the Apple Store will guide you on how you can backup your device to iCloud, wipe the data and retain all your information without losing and data. You can use services like iCloud or Time Machine to have your data stored securely.
  • If you’re not willing to head out to the Apple Store, you can mail the device across to them by using the prepaid trade-in kit or shipping label.

How Do I Trade-In My Device?

How Does Apple Trade-In Work?

There are two ways by which you can trade-in your device and this is either via the online platform or by visiting an Authorized Apple Store.

Online – 

Just visit this site (https://www.apple.com/shop/trade-in) and answer a few questions about the device’s brand, model, and condition (like if the buttons work and if the screen is free of cracks). The website will tell you how much your device is worth based on your responses and give you the money in the form of an Apple gift card. Then simply enter your address to obtain a trade-in kit and return your old phone. 

In Stores –  

In case you’re not much of a tech-savvy person and want to do it face-to-face then, then you can visit an Apple store and inform an Apple employee that you want to trade-in your device. Instead of getting the money on a gift card, you can choose to put it directly toward a new purchase in stores (Gift cards are still an option.) Just remember that Apple stores can’t accept computer trade-ins, so you’ll have to do that online.

What Devices Can I Trade-in By Using This Service? 

How Does Apple Trade-In Work?

iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch are some of the Apple gadgets that can be traded in.

Apple also allows trade-in of Android devices from brands like Samsung and Google.

Unfortunately, Apple does not allow iPods or Apple TVs for trade-in but will recycle them for free. 

What Happens To Your Old Device?

How Does Apple Trade-In Work?

Well, that depends on the device’s condition. If your device is in working condition, then it will be refurbished and sold to someone else. The same is valid for the iPhone Upgrade Program, which needs monthly payments to obtain a new iPhone per year.

If it’s no longer in working condition then, Apple will offer to recycle it for you so that the materials can be reused. For example, The aluminum from old iPhones is recycled into MacBook Air enclosures. Apple also has a recycling robot called Daisy that can disassemble 200 iPhones every hour to recycle as many materials as possible.

Sites like Amazon, Best Buy, Gazelle, and Target also have similar trade-in programs, but the amount you’ll receive can vary.

So How Much is Your iPhone Worth?

How Does Apple Trade-In Work?

As per Apple’s official site, the following is the estimated value a user can expect  for their device (based on the condition) by opting in for this service:

iPhone for Trade-in

iPhone 11 Pro MaxUp to $500 
iPhone 11 ProUp to $460
iPhone 11Up to $360
iPhone XS MaxUp to $340
iPhone XSUp to $270
iPhone XRUp to $220
iPhone XUp to $220
iPhone 8 PlusUp to $180
iPhone 8Up to $120
iPhone 7 PlusUp to $130
iPhone 7Up to $90
iPhone 6s PlusUp to $75
iPhone 6sUp to $50
iPhone 6 PlusUp to $50
iPhone 6Up to $35
iPhone SE (2nd Gen)Up to $200
iPhone SE (1st Gen)Up to $25

iPad for Trade-in

iPad ProUp to $535
iPad Up to $250
iPad AirUp to $275
iPad MiniUp to $215

Mac for Trade-in

MacBook ProUp to $1,530
MacBook AirUp to $600
MacBookUp to $380
iMac ProUp to $3,040
iMacUp to $1,180
Mac ProUp to $2,930
Mac MiniUp to $830

Apple Watch for Trade-in

Apple Watch Series 5Up to $190
Apple Watch Series 4Up to $150
Apple Watch Series 3Up to $90
Apple Watch Series 2Up to $60
Apple Watch Series 1Up to $35

Android Smartphones for Trade-in

Samsung Galaxy S20+Up to $315
Samsung Galaxy S20Up to $240
Samsung Galaxy S10+Up to $220
Samsung Galaxy S10Up to $185
Samsung Galaxy S10eUp to $145
Samsung Galaxy S9+Up to $110
Samsung Galaxy S9Up to $90
Samsung Galaxy S8+Up to $70
Samsung Galaxy S8Up to $55
Samsung Note 10Up to $270
Samsung Note 9Up to $145
Samsung Note 8Up to $80
Google Pixel 4 XLUp to $220
Google Pixel 4Up to $185
Google Pixel 3 XLUp to $90
Google Pixel 3Up to $65
Google Pixel 3aUp to $50

Non-Apple devices and devices not specified here are not officially available for trade-ins, but you can send them to Apple and they will be recycled for free.


Can I trade-in two iPhones at Apple?
Yes, you can trade in multiple devices, all of which can go towards the cost of a new one.

Do I have to use my credit towards a new iPhone?
According to Apple, you can either use your entire credit for the purchase of the new iPhone or lower the monthly payments in case you’re buying it through a carrier.

How long does the process take?
It takes generally 2–3 weeks for the entire process to complete. According to Apple, the sooner you send the device to them, the sooner they can verify its condition and process your credit or gift card.

Can I Cancel the Trade-In?

The trade-in cannot be canceled if your device has already been shipped. If you receive a revised trade-in value after your device has been inspected, you have the option to reject it.

Can I see what my device is worth online, then bring it with me when I buy a new device in the store?
Yes, the Apple Trade-In service is available on apple.com as well as in all retail stores. However, do keep in mind that the trade-in credit you get in the store may be different from the estimated trade-in value you received online.

Can I Trade-in when I join the Apple Upgrade program?
If you are not part of the iPhone Upgrade Program then you can trade-in your eligible device at an Apple Store for credit toward your subsequent purchase as part of the iPhone Upgrade Program.

However, If you are currently a member of the iPhone Upgrade Program and wish to remain in the program then it’s better not to proceed with Apple Trade-In. You will be responsible for both your outstanding iPhone Upgrade Program loan and the price of any new iPhone in case you purchase through Apple Trade-In.

How do I track my Trade-in status?

You can track the status from your Apple Store Account if you have applied your trade-in as a credit towards your online purchase. In case if you have traded-in for an Apple gift card then you can view the status here (https://phobio.com/tradein/apple/status)

Should I include my power adapter and other accessories when sending my device back to Apple?
It is not mandatory as per Apple. However, the final trade-in value can vary depending on if you send in your power adapter or not. In case you do, Apple will recycle these accessories.

Any pointers to keep in mind when sending the device back?
Yes, please keep the following things in mind when you’re sending the device back.

  • The instructions in the trade-in kit will explain to you about preparing, packing, and shipping your device
  • Wipe your device by doing a factory reset
  • The estimated trade-in value is valid for only 14 days, so to get the correct value do send the device in that time frame
  • Ship only one device per box


Apple’s trade-in service is a nice choice if you’re selling an Apple device to purchase another Apple device.

Apple sends you a kit to make it simple, offers affordable rates that beat out several other trade-in sites, and provides you with an Apple gift card that you can use for another Apple purchase.

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