Apple plans China iPhone trade-in program with Foxconn: Bloomberg

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(Reuters) – Apple Inc plans to introduce a trade- program for iPhones association with the Foxconn Technology Group, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the effort.

Under the program, consumers will be able to exchange older iPhones at Apple stores inChina for credit against the company’ starting March 31, Bloomberg reported. (

Chinese demand for larger-screen iPhones helped fuel Apple’ record of $18 billion the final quarter last year.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has said is poised to overtake the as the company’ biggest market, and he is working to about double the number of stores in Greater by the middle of next year, Bloomberg reported.

Under the China program, Foxconn will buy the iPhones directly, without Apple taking ownership, and repair the devices if needed before selling them its e-commerce websites such as FLNet and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Taobao store.

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Foxconn, a key Apple supplier, is also in to sell the older iPhones in physical stores and may take the trade-in program in future.

The China plan follows an expansion of a similar program in the , where the company has started accepting non-Apple devices, Bloomberg reported.

Major .S. wireless carriers including Verizon Communications and Sprint Corp last year offered subscribers schemes under which they could trade their old iPhones for ones.

The China trade-in program currently involves only Apple , Bloomberg reported, citing one of the people.

Apple declined to comment and Foxconn could not be reached for comments immediately outside regular hours.