Apple’s sneaky asterisk

From Ewan Spence’s  “Apple Wants You To Hand Back Your Magical iPhone In Three Years” posted last week on

There are a number of advantages for Apple if this trade-in cycle can be established with as many iPhone users as possible. First of all moving from an older iPhone to a newer iPhone keeps users locked into Apple’s ecosystem. Given the strong emphasis that Tim Cook and his team are placing on services to generate future revenue, the number of addressable users must be kept as high as possible to continue growing the services.

Secondly, it boosts Apple’s sales figures. Not only can the new handset be regarded as a unit sale, but once the reconditioned unit leaves Cupertino for a new home, that’s an additional unit sale generated by a single handset.

Finally, given the ever increasing cost of a new iPhone (with retail prices reaching $1500), Apple can continue to advertise a lower price for its new iPhones by attaching a sneaky asterisk that the lower price only applies if you trade in specific models. The campaign to recycle old hardware is to be commended, but in an iOS-driven world of rising prices and falling sales, the secondary effect of this campaign will be welcomed by those watching Apple’s bottom line.

My take: Spence is right. It is sneaky. And it will be welcomed by those watching Apple’s bottom line.

One Comment

  1. Romie Lucas said:

    There’s something else there in that fine print. Apple can, apparently because this is what they did to me, decide to give your discount to you in the form of a gift card that is only redeemable at the Apple store. So, instead of the monthly payment advertised, you “get back” money you can only spend with Apple. I have called and emailed only to be told there is nothing anyone can do. Of course, I can return the phone but the one I traded in (a perfectly good 6s) is gone and cannot be returned. I could be refunded the price of the phone and buy another one by going to an Apple store (nearest is a 3 hour drive away) but why could this not be handled over the phone? So, what is one to do? I was shocked by this. Surely, Apple is not the kind of company to stoop to a bait-and-switch promotion but I guess I am wrong.

    May 13, 2019

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