As spotted by MacRumors on Wednesday, Apple has cut the trade-in values of iPhones by up to $80, with the biggest cuts coming to the iPhone 13 Pro Max ($570 trade-in value versus $650 before) and the iPhone 13 Pro ($470 versus $550).
And while trade-in values for many base models (iPhone 7, 8, X, and 11) and some of their sibling releases (iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max) remain unchanged, nine out of the 20 iPhones listed now have a reduced trade-in value. According to MacRumors, most Android smartphones also saw a reduction in trade-in value.
Apple has cut trade-in values as recently as November and has done so over the years without explaining why. The devices losing value could be one factor, and the most recent change to Apple’s trade-in values follows an abysmal year for smartphone sales. According to market intelligence firm IDC, sales dropped 11.3 percent from 2021 to 2022. The year saw the lowest number of phones shipped (1.21 billion) since 2013. Apple saw a 4 percent drop (226.4 million versus 235.8 million).
The used phone market has become attractive for both buyers and sellers. Earlier this month, IDC predicted that used smartphones, including “officially refurbished ones,” will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.3 percent from 2021 to 2026. 2022 saw an 11.5 percent increase from 2021, though it’s worth noting that the majority (74 percent) of used smartphone shipments in 2022 reportedly occurred outside North America.
As many tech companies contemplate ways to persuade people to purchase a new gadget after a rush for upgrades during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, embracing used phones with inviting trade-in values could benefit companies like Apple. In the US, where trade-ins and refurbished phones aren’t new, “trade-in continues to play a significant role in speeding up refresh cycles,” according to the IDC.
With smartphone upgrades often feeling less and less exciting, greater trade-in values could help convince people that an upgrade is worthwhile. Apple also says its trade-in programs are helpful for recycling.
But while Apple cut trade-in values for some phones, the money it will pay for four Macs increased, while the trade-in values for the other three didn’t change. At a $40 bump ($670 versus $630), the MacBook Pro saw the highest increase.
Apple also decreased the trade-in value for the Apple Watch SE ($65 versus $70) and Series 5 ($75 versus $80) but will pay you $5 more for the Series 7 than before ($160 versus $155).