Apple Inc. plans to introduce a trade-in program for iPhones in China, after a similar program boosted sales in the United States, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.
Customers will be able to take older iPhones to Apple stores in the mainland for credit against the company’s products as soon as March 31.
The firm’s largest supplier, Foxconn Technology Group, which makes iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, will buy and resell the phones as part of the program.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has said China is poised to overtake the US as Apple’s biggest market.
The trade-in plan follows an expansion of a similar program started in 2013 in the US, where the company is accepting non-Apple devices for the first time.
The report cited Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics LLC, as saying about half the people buying iPhones in the US during the final quarter of last year traded in their older phones.
Under the China program, retail staff at Apple outlets will assess an iPhone’s condition before offering store credit for those originally bought in Greater China.
Foxconn will buy the phone directly and repair the devices if needed. It will sell them through its e-commerce sites eFeihu and FLNet, and through Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Taobao online store.
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