Apple Lowers Maximum iPhone Trade-In Values, Best Deals Now Limited to Trade-Ins with Purchase

Apple recently lowered direct trade-in values for iPhones, providing customers with a maximum of $349 when trading in an iPhone without purchasing a new one at the same time.

Apple used to offer a maximum of $500 when doing a direct ‌iPhone‌ trade-in through its trade-in website, and just a few weeks ago, we tested trading in an ‌iPhone‌ X and were offered $500 by Apple. Today, Apple's maximum price for the same ‌iPhone‌ X is $349.

‌iPhone‌ X trade-in value from April 30 (trade-in site)

Not all iPhones were worth $500, but for newer models in good condition, Apple was indeed providing credit up to $500 in the form of an Apple gift card that could be put towards a new device purchase.

‌iPhone‌ X trade-in value today (trade-in site)

The $349 maximum seems to apply only to direct trade-ins that don't involve a purchase. If you use the trade-in process while purchasing a new ‌iPhone‌, which puts the cost of that trade-in towards the new device, you can get higher prices.

That same ‌iPhone‌ X that's worth $349 when doing a direct trade-in with Apple is worth $450 if you trade it in while buying a new iPhone XR. At $450, Apple is still offering less than the $500 maximum ‌iPhone‌ trade-in value that was available before, but it's still better than the $349 that's available through the trade-in site.

On its trade-in site, Apple heavily promoted a $449 trade-in price for the ‌iPhone XR‌ when trading in an ‌iPhone‌ 8 or ‌iPhone‌ 7 Plus, but now the advertised pricing is $479 instead of $449. Listed ‌iPhone XR‌ and XS pricing with trade-in has gone up across the board as Apple has dropped trade-in values for all iPhones.


With Apple's direct trade-in pricing drops, Apple is no longer offering some of the best ‌iPhone‌ trade-in pricing, and it may not be worth an ‌iPhone‌ trade-in through Apple unless it's done when you're purchasing a new ‌iPhone‌.

Maximum trade-in values when purchasing another ‌iPhone‌

If you do a trade-in while purchasing a new device, you can get up to $450 for an ‌iPhone‌ X, up to $350 for an ‌iPhone‌ 8 Plus, up to $270 for an ‌iPhone‌ 8 or 7 Plus, and up to $200 for an ‌iPhone‌ 7 or 6s Plus. Other devices have trade-in values below $200.

Apple's ‌iPhone‌ X trade-in offer today when purchasing new ‌iPhone‌

Apple has a prominent section on all iPhone purchase pages that asks "Do you have an ‌iPhone‌ to trade in?" and if you select yes, you can go through the steps to get the upgraded pricing.

Trade-in pricing on other devices has also dropped. Apple now offers a maximum of $367 for tablet trade-ins, up to $965 when trading in a computer, and up to $173 when trading in an Apple Watch. That's down from $405 for tablets, $1100 for computers, and $191 for an ‌Apple Watch‌. Trade-in values do not differ on non-iPhone products between the trade-in site and a trade-in with purchase.

The new trade-in pricing system is confusing and could potentially lead to some customers getting lower value for their iPhones if they're not aware of the disparity in pricing between doing a direct trade-in through Apple's trade-in page and doing a trade-in when purchasing a new ‌iPhone‌.

Apple's new direct trade-in pricing is comparative to trade-in pricing from other sites like Gazelle, but you're always going to get the best price selling direct on a site like eBay or Swappa.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
14 months ago
In the past I was considered to be an enthusiast. Now I am sticking with a phone for 2 or more years. Even though I could afford the upgrade costs, I do not _want_ to afford it anymore. It feels like a rip off.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago

In the past I was considered to be an enthusiast. Now I am sticking with a phone for 2 or more years. Even though I could afford the upgrade costs, I do not _want_ to afford it anymore. It feels like a rip off.

I’d say a large part of the consumer market reflects your attitude currently, and they have the money to upgrade, but they don’t see the need to when their current iPhone does everything they require and more.

I’m similar to your thoughts as well, I was one that upgraded every single year with the iPhone/pre-ordered at midnight, but I’ve reached a point where my iPhone meets *all* my expectations with Face ID, the camera is outstanding, the processor has more than enough speed for what I am using my phone for, etc. The market is definitely saturated.

My next upgrade likely won’t be until 5G, so likely 2020.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago
Apple could still do a lot better.

$749 iPhone Xr - $100 iPhone 6 trade-in = $649 for near 720p LCD display, inferior Intel radio, no headphone jack, less smarts

$399 Pixel 3a - $250 iPhone 6 trade-in - $100 Google Store credit = $50 for 1080p+ OLED display, better Qualcomm radio, includes headphone jack, more smarts

https://slickdeals.net/f/13067710-google-store-eligible-apple-smartphone-trade-in-towards-google-pixel-3a-up-to-250-credit-100-google-store-credit
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago

In the past I was considered to be an enthusiast. Now I am sticking with a phone for 2 or more years. Even though I could afford the upgrade costs, I do not _want_ to afford it anymore. It feels like a rip off.

I always updated every two years. The last couple of generations, I have been holding for three years. Honestly, I might hold on for four years with the current prices. The only thing that might entice me to upgrade is if I get a BOGO deal from my carrier. I honestly cannot fathom paying more than $800 for an iPhone. Apple got to get back to earth. Their prices are just out of this world.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago
Why anybody would do this when they can get significantly more on the open market is beyond me.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago
This has been a long time coming. I guess the Xr and Xs are finally selling how they want them to.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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