When customers who are members of the iPhone Upgrade Program go to trade in their devices this fall, they will likely be able to use a Trade-in Kit that's delivered by mail rather than being forced to visit an Apple Store to purchase a new device and trade in the old one.
Mail-in Trade-in Kits, highlighted this afternoon on the MacRumors forums
, have been available as part of the iPhone Upgrade Program at least since July, and perhaps even earlier, but they were not an option during the iPhone 7 launch.
Based on wording on the iPhone Upgrade Program website
, once a customer's new iPhone ships, Apple will send a Trade-in Kit with a prepaid shipping label to allow customers to send their current device back to Apple.
Last year, many iPhone Upgrade Program users were forced to reserve a new iPhone from a local Apple retail store due to in-store trade-in requirements, which left them with limited stock
to choose from. Many customers were unhappy
, perhaps prompting Apple to offer a mail-in exchange option.
With the new trade-in by mail option, iPhone Upgrade Program users may not be restricted to in-store stock this year, preventing many of the problems that surfaced last year.
Unfortunately, T-Mobile customers who are members of the iPhone Upgrade Program will still need to visit an Apple Store and will not be able to upgrade online.