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Apple To Accept Cracked iPhones For Credit

Apple is relaxing its trade-in policies for users who want to swap their busted iPhones for upgraded devices.

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Apple is loosening the strict requirements on its iPhone trade-in program, according to a report from 9to5Mac. It will soon begin to accept devices with damaged screens, buttons, or cameras.

Through the Apple Reuse and Recycling Program, the company allows customers to trade in old iPhones for credit towards an upgraded device. The catch was, it did not accept phones with damaged displays, broken buttons and cameras, or other problems.

Apple is changing its policy to be more lenient in accepting devices that have seen better days. It’s welcome news to anyone who has damaged an iPhone screen, which at times seems almost too easy to crack.

[Tim Cook talks about iPhone sales, Apple's future plans.]

The update to Apple's trade-in program will let customers receive credit for iPhones with cracked displays or broken buttons and cameras "within reason," meaning you probably can't bring in a phone after it's been run over by a car.

iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones are all eligible.

Customers can now bring their beat-up iPhones to Apple retail stores in exchange for credit, as the new policy went into effect towards the end of last week.

The trade-in value varies from phone to phone, the report explains. Generally, customers can expect $50 for an iPhone 5s, $200 for an iPhone 6, and $250 for an iPhone 6 Plus. This could increase, however, depending on the phone's amount of storage space.

Apple's updated policy could make a tremendous difference to people who break their iPhones and aren't sure whether to replace or fix them. The option to trade in a damaged iPhone and upgrade, for a discount, could be more appealing than a pricey repair.

It's a move that may expand the iPhone customer pool for Apple, which could use an uptick in smartphone sales. Cupertino reported record earnings last quarter, but the future looks bleak as iPhone sales are expected to drop in the months ahead.

In an effort to prevent broken screens from becoming a problem, Apple has begun to allow its retail store employees to install screen protectors.

This was previously forbidden, as iPhone screen protectors are manufactured by other companies. Apple was wary of problems that may occur from installing third-party products on users' iPhones in its retail stores.

Now, screen protector installation machines will be placed at the back of each retail location. Apple is partnering with companies to bring these machines into stores; Belkin is reportedly one of them.

(Image: deyangeorgiev/iStockPhoto)

(Image: deyangeorgiev/iStockPhoto)

In the event something goes wrong during the installation process, customers will get a free replacement protector and installation. This offering launched Feb. 4 and will continue rolling out in coming weeks.

Today's updates are only the beginning of iPhone news to come in 2016. In a few weeks, Apple will hold a mid-March event, during which it is expected to unveil the iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3. Its smaller 4-inch iPhone is expected to be an upgrade to the iPhone 5s, with an updated design and A9/M9 processor combination.

The iPhone 7 is predicted to debut later this year, likely in September. It's already sparking plenty of discussion, however, as people talk about the potential for wireless charging and the elimination of the headphone jack.

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Kelly Sheridan is Associate Editor at Dark Reading. She started her career in business tech journalism at Insurance & Technology and most recently reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft and business IT. Sheridan earned her BA at Villanova University. View Full Bio

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User Rank: Ninja
2/10/2016 | 4:24:32 PM
Re: screen protection
@namison.  I think this will allow people to upgrade their older phone to their newer version.  I'm sure, it will incentivize people to get new phones.  I'm sure newer phones would not be as durable because that would mean fewer upgrades or new phone for apple.
User Rank: Ninja
2/8/2016 | 9:21:59 AM
Re: screen protection
Good for consumer. Good for Apple. Almost all users of iphones complained of broken screens. So this will be surely welcomed.
User Rank: Ninja
2/7/2016 | 2:09:22 PM
Gotta Get Those Numbers Up!
Good news for the customers, as Smart Phone repair is expensive, fraught with problems, and often not successful. Good new for Apple, as this will crimp a burgeoning, non-authorized Apple repair business that Apple neither authorizes nor condones, AND it will increase the company's dwindling sales numbers.

User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 5:53:26 PM
Re: screen protection
Given the cost of the iPhone, this sort of service to protect the screen should be included
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 1:26:51 PM
screen protection
Apple has begun to allow its retail store employees to install screen protectors.

Yes, the wirelss store near us offers a screen protection plan that is very good. If anything happens to the "glass" they put on the screen, you just bring in the phone and they replace for free. 'Bout time Apple was more flexible.
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