It’s no secret: When Apple gears up to launch new phones, Apple enthusiasts and even just those looking to upgrade head to third-party sites like Gazelle to sell their current iPhones.
According to a new report, they might just have to head into an Apple store next time.
Bloomberg New is reporting that Apple this month plans to launch a new iPhone trade-in program in partnership with Brightstar, a mobile phone distributor. The service would allow iPhone owners to trade in their current phones for a discount on new phones.
Apple did not have a comment on the Bloomberg report when reached by ABC News.
Gazelle has built a $100 million business on Apple product trade-ins. Prior to the launch of the iPhone 5, the site received 1.2 million price quotes for iPhones from people who were considering selling their phones ahead of the launch. Gazelle would not disclose how much it makes on Apple product trade-ins.
Another service called Glyde rolled out an iPhone Upgrade Tool, which people can use to determine the value of their used device.
Gazelle CEO Israel Ganot said he is excited about the prospects of Apple heading into this business.
“The biggest challenge for us has been to change consumer behavior,” Ganot told ABC News. “It will be great to see Apple jumping into it. We expect them to put the brand and marketing behind it and lift consumer adoption.”
Gazelle takes the phones it gets from customers and resells them in emerging markets like Asia or Latin America.
“There is insatiable demand there,” Ganot said. “The average consumer can’t buy the brand-new iPhone. The phones we bring to those markets are much more affordable.”
Apple has offered a recycling program, but only offers a 10 percent discount on iPod trade-ins. By having a trade-in service, Apple might be able to entice buyers to upgrade to its newest iPhone 5 and then others down the road.
Apple, which was once the main player in the industry, has lost market share to competing Android phones over the last year. According to Pew, 28 percent of all cell phone owners are Android users, while iPhone owners now represent 25 percent of the cell phone owner population.
Apple will hold its annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference on Monday, June 10. The company is not expected to preview the next iPhone but, rather, the next version of its iPhone software or iOS 7.