The Truth About Apple's New iPhone Trade-in Program

Posted by Todd 09/10/2019 0 Comment(s)

As expected, Apple announced the release of the new iPhone 11 today. Three versions of the device will be made available for pre-order on Friday, September 13: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Surprisingly, curbing the trend of price increases for new iterations of high-end smartphones, Apple has reduced the price of the iPhone 11 compared to Last years comparable model, the iPhone XR, which was introduced at $749. Not surprisingly, however, there are the little differentiators between last year’s phones and this years. The sole focus of the new iPhone seems to rest squarely on its camera, for better or worse.


One thing that has most definitely changed is Apple’s attention to iPhone trade-in programs. In years past there have been small mentions in printed advertisements and on their website in fine print about relationships with partners who provided this service on their behalf, namely the iPhone Recycling Program, where you would basically give Apple your old iPhone in exchange for a laughable sum towards the purchase of a new iPhone. For an even heartier laugh, if your iPhone was deemed no longer worthy, Apple would offer to take your old phone for absolutely no monetary compensation, and have it “recycled” for the good of all of us on planet Earth. How generous of a company with a reported $245 billion dollars of cash on hand.


Today, after the announcement of the new iPhone line up, you will find a new Apple trade-in offer front and center underneath each iPhone model offering.


So, what’s the deal? Lets take a closer look…



iPhone 11 Cost

How much is the new iPhone 11? The iPhone 11 starts at $699 for the 64GB model, $749 for 128GB, and $849 for the 256GB. Of course these prices are if you purchase the iPhone out right or unlocked, which refers to owning the phone free of any carrier contract. If you decide to finance the iPhone through Apple or a carrier such as Sprint or T-Mobile your monthly payments will look like the following:


iPhone 11 Financing:

iPhone 11 64GB = $29.12 / Month

iPhone 11 128GB = $31.20 / Month

iPhone 11 256GB = $35.37 / Month


iPhone 11 Pro Cost

The cost of the iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999 for the 64GB model, $1149 for the 256GB, and $1349 for the 512GB. Notice the difference in storage capacity between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.


iPhone 11 Pro Financing:

iPhone 11 Pro 64GB = $41.62 / Month

iPhone 11 Pro 256GB = $47.87 / Month

iPhone 11 Pro 512GB = $56.20 / Month


iPhone 11 Pro Max Cost

Naturally the iPhone 11 Pro Max and its enormous 6.5 inch display is the most costly of the new iPhone models with a starting price of $1099 for the 64GB version. $1249 for the 255GB, and $1449 for the 512GB.


iPhone 11 Pro Max Financing:

iPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB = $45.79 / Month

iPhone 11 Pro Max 256GB = $52.04 / Month

iPhone 11 Pro Max 512 GB = $60.37 / Month



Keep in mind the financing terms laid out above are interest free and are solely for the iPhone itself under a 2 year contract with a cellular carrier such as Verizon or AT&T. The monthly prices do NOT include the cellular contract itself.


Apple is offering up to $600 in trade-in value for an iPhone XS Max. Judging by Apple’s website, this phone can be any color and any capacity as long as it is in good working condition. If everything checks out once Apple receives your old iPhone they will either credit the original payment method you used for the entire $600 or, if you pay using Apple iPhone Payments, the trade-in value is credited up front toward your monthly payment amount. 


Now for the truth about the Apple iPhone trade-in program…


It’s simply not enough. A search on the BestPriceDevice offers page tells us that no less than 10 of the best iPhone buyback companies online are offering more than $600 for the same iPhone XS Max, in the same condition, in any color and as many as 9 different companies are offering over $700 for an iPhone XS Max with 512GB of storage capacity. Actually, the best offer for an iPhone XS Max with 512BG of storage capacity is $761, a full $161 over Apple’s best offer.



Furthermore, Apple gives no indication of how long this process will actually take other than to say you have 14 days to ship them your old iPhone. What if you take 15 days? Are they not going to honor your trade-in? When are you going to get paid once they receive and inspect your device? All very important details for someone who just shelled out as much as $1449. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.


You can pre-order iPhone 11 on September 13 (09/13/2019) starting at 5am PST or 2am EST. iPhone 11 available in stores on September 20 (09/20/2019).


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