The smartphone industry has been getting increasingly more and more competitive over the years, particularly over the past year. Apple’s iPhone may have started a new type of smartphone craze but it was quickly eclipsed in sales by phones powered by Google’s Android, which you likely love if you’re reading this particular bit of news. There are plenty of reasons Android has mowed iOS and Apple as a whole over in the industry, taking over 80% of worldwide sales at many points over the past year or so, but one of the biggest factors is cost. Apple’s devices are well known for their premium nature, an that comes with a premium price. Apple’s biggest phone, the iPhone 6 Plus, costs in upwards of $1200 off contract for the largest storage models while many Android phones cost less than 1/4 of that price.
Apple tried an experiment with the iPhone 5c, building a cheaper iPhone that cost less than its more premium iPhone 5s model but still more expensive than competing Android phones. This was an utter failure for Apple as the 5c’s sales as a whole were abysmal compared with its more expensive brother, showing that Apple is known for being a premium brand rather than an affordable one. Apple is still looking to change that though and get more people to jump on its platform, and it seems like a number of tactics are working if some of the latest sales numbers from the last quarter in 2014 show anything.
Apple’s latest move isn’t official just yet but it’s working its way through the retail rumor chain, with 9to5 Mac citing that training for the program begins at Apple Stores in the coming weeks. The deal builds upon Apple’s already existing recycling program where users can trade older iOS devices in for newer ones and is being extended to Android devices as a whole. Customers with Android devices are encouraged to “upgrade” to an iPhone via Apple’s trade-in program, although there’s no specific mention of brands or pricing involved. Likely we’ll see similar deals to what carriers and other electronics retailers like Best Buy offer for trade-in pricing towards Apple products in an effort to erode the lead Google has held for a long time in the smartphone race. Whether or not this sort of program is enough to stem the tide of growth by Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi is another thing entirely, but it could help Apple take the lead in the US where the Android crown isn’t quite as big as the worldwide market.