In context: The process of upgrading a smartphone is always exciting. You get to enjoy the look, feel, features, and speed of a brand-new device, without the need to worry about degraded battery capacity, app bloat, our outdated hardware. However, there’s always the question of what to do with your old phone. Do you trade it in to the manufacturer, or attempt to get a better deal by selling it to a third-party?
The decision is tough — there are pros and cons associated with either choice. Trading your device in is fast, reliable, and convenient (usually), whereas haggling with the average Craigslist buyer is just the opposite. However, the cash amounts companies offer for used devices are often quite a bit lower than their street prices.
You might spend close to $1,000 on a new phone and only get a few hundred dollars back (if that) via an official trade-in. Still, some people are willing to take the hit if it saves them time and effort. If you’re an Apple customer who falls into that camp, we may have some disappointing news for you today: as spotted by MacRumors on Friday, the already-rough trade-in values for Apple’s devices just got a bit worse.
Several devices, from smartphones to tablets to MacBooks, have seen trade-in value reductions, and many (but not all) are quite noticeable. To name a more extreme example, the XS Max can now be sent to Apple for a maximum payout of $500, down from $600.
The standard iPhone XS has seen a similar value cut: it’ll trade in for $420 instead of its previous $500. Then there’s the iPhone XR, which is now worth up to $300 instead of $370. Other, older iPhones have received more modest value cutbacks (ranging from $20 to $50).
As we pointed out a moment ago, it’s not just smartphones that Apple is offering less money for. The iMac Pro is worth $90 less now ($4150, down from $4240), and an iPad Pro trade-in will net you a maximum of $220, $70 less than its previous $290 value.
To be clear, we’re not bashing Apple for this decision — not too much, anyway. It might be unfortunate for consumers, but reducing trade-in values is a tidy (if controversial) way for Apple to squeeze in some extra quarterly savings with minimal effort. It’s also worth noting that most of the devices mentioned above are a couple years old now, and smartphones depreciate in value just like most other products on the market.
Regardless, if you have any thoughts on this news, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Do you think Apple is right to reduce trade-in values over time, or should they have remained the same for a bit longer?