Apple’s 2020 ambitions know no boundaries. The company plans to release up to seven new iPhone models and, internally, they will make the biggest generational leap in years. The problem for Apple is the designs keep leaking and, having already been disappointed once, a major new iPhone design leak means we are likely to be disappointed all over again.
Digging through Apple’s small print, the eagle-eyed MacRumors discovered Apple has quietly slashed trade-in values across its entire iPhone range for anyone looking to upgrade to a new iPhone. And the newer your trade-in model, the more money you will lose:
- iPhone XS Max – up to $500 (was $600)
- iPhone XS – up to $420 (was $500)
- iPhone XR – up to $300 (was $370)
- iPhone X – up to $320 (was $400)
- iPhone 8 Plus – up to $250 (was $300)
- iPhone 8 – up to $170 (was $220)
- iPhone 7 Plus – up to $150 (was $200)
- iPhone 7 – up to $120 (was $150)
- iPhone 6s Plus – up to $100 (was $120)
- iPhone 6s – up to $80 (was $100)
Yes, if you plan to trade-in your current iPhone, you will now receive up to $100 less even if it is in perfect condition (remember: these are “up to” prices). As it stands, despite the convenience of trading your old iPhone in with Apple, these prices make it a poor financial decision to do so. You’ll receive considerably more elsewhere, particularly if you sell it online.
As far as I understand, this is also an usual step to reduce prices mid-cycle with Apple typically dropping values only with the release of each new iPhone generation. Consequently, it will be a nasty shock to many upgraders.
01/13 Update: Apple has confirmed to me that it has dropped trade-in prices mid-generation, but it has not yet provided a reason why the decreases are so sizable on this occasion.
Gordon’s Top Apple Daily Deals:
- AirPods with Charging Case – (typically $159.99) – Amazon: $129 / Best Buy: $139.99 / Staples: $129 / Walmart: $139
- 10.2-inch 2019 32GB iPad – (typically $329.99) – Amazon: $279.99 (currently unavailable)/ Best Buy: $279.99
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro Max – save up to $700 with second purchase and free year of Apple TV+ – shop deal now
Interestingly, Apple has also slashed prices on iPads at the same time but Mac and Apple Watch trade-ins are barely changed. For example, there’s only a $10 cut to one Apple Watch model (Series 4), and the most you will lose on any Mac is $90 and that’s on an iMac Pro worth over $4,000. Apple has not given a reason for its timing with these new iPhone and iPad cuts, but I have asked the company and will update when/if I receive a response.
In the meantime, anyone still on the fence about upgrading to the iPhone 11 may have just found a good reason to wait. And (despite my love of the current generation), this may prove to be the smart move. After all, we already know the iPhone 12 range is a major upgrade delivering, among many other things, a new long-range 3D camera, 120Hz ProMotion displays, the introduction of in-display Touch ID and 5G for all new models without a significant price penalty.
Now that’s a pricing decision I can get behind.
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I am an experienced freelance technology journalist. I have written for Wired, The Next Web, TrustedReviews, The Guardian and the BBC in addition to Forbes. I began in b2b print journalism covering tech companies at the height of the dot com boom and switched to covering consumer technology as the iPod began to take off. A career highlight for me was being a founding member of TrustedReviews. It started in 2003 and we were repeatedly told websites could not compete with print! Within four years we were purchased by IPC Media (Time Warner’s publishing division) to become its flagship tech title. What fascinates me are the machinations of technology’s biggest companies. Got a pitch, tip or leak? Contact me on my professional Facebook page. I don’t bite.