Apple goes Grinch, reducing most iPhone trade-in values before Christmas

Apple goes Grinch, reducing most iPhone trade-in values before Christmas
Instead of taking a page from Google's playbook to try to boost the sales numbers of its latest high-end smartphones with increased trade-in estimates for older in-house (or competition-made) devices, Apple has inexplicably adopted the opposite "strategy" ahead of the always important holiday season.

While the Cupertino-based tech giant undoubtedly wants the iPhone 14 series to headline as many Christmas shopping lists as possible, its efforts to take the likes of the iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone 11 Pro, XS Max, and even 8 Plus off your hands in the process can only be described as... minimal.

'Tis the season... to be thrifty

As noticed by an eagle-eyed Twitter user and first reported by 9To5Mac, the official US Apple Store trade-in values for exactly a dozen different iPhone models have been revised down just when many of you probably intended to start your traditional pre-Black Friday bargain hunting.

For what it's worth, there are a few notable exceptions of devices with seemingly unchanged trade-in values and even two examples of handsets Apple is considering (slightly) more valuable than before. But on the whole, these changes really don't look good at all, particularly so close to the season of giving:

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: $650 (down from $720)
  • iPhone 13 Pro: $550 (was $600)
  • iPhone 13: $450 (down from $470)
  • iPhone 13 mini: $380 (no change)
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: $480 (down from $530)
  • iPhone 12 Pro: $400 (down from $430)
  • iPhone 12: $300 (previously $320)
  • iPhone 12 mini: $300 (no change)
  • iPhone SE 2: $250 (unchanged)
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: $330 (down from $370)
  • iPhone 11 Pro: $250 (was $300)
  • iPhone 11: $200 (down from $220)
  • iPhone XS Max: $200 (down from $210)
  • iPhone XS: $160 (up from $150)
  • iPhone XR: $150 (up from $140)
  • iPhone X: $130 (no change)
  • iPhone 8 Plus: $100 (previously $110)
  • iPhone 8: $75 (unchanged)
  • iPhone 7 Plus: $60 (down from $70)
  • iPhone 7: $40 (no change)

Terms, conditions, and alternatives to consider

For folks unfamiliar with the general rules of Apple's official trade-in program, the numbers above represent how much you can get as credit toward a new purchase (any purchase) or in the form of a gift card to be used anytime in the future if you're looking to rid yourself of one of the devices listed above in "good" condition.

Those already unimpressive figures will obviously take a big hit if the phone you want to trade in is not in good condition, meaning that it refuses to turn on (in which case you get nothing), its body is in "bad" shape (in which case you also get nothing), or the touchscreen and cameras are "not in good shape" (in which case you will get a little money to reduce the price of an iPhone 14 or something else).

What's interesting (read frustrating) is that the above "maximum" trade-in values seem a little misleading themselves when you actually start the trade-in process. For instance, an iPhone 13 Pro Max in "good condition" appears to only qualify for a $610 gift card at the time of this writing, although for what it's worth, the same ultra-high-end handset can in fact help you slash the full $650 off the list price of an iPhone 14-series device if you go straight to the latter's product webpage.

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Similar differences can be noticed for all of the other previous-generation iPhones Apple is willing to accept as trade-ins right now, while the values of select Android smartphones made by Samsung and Google remain... downright laughable.

"Up to" $320 for a Galaxy S22 Ultra and "up to" $95 for a Pixel 6 Pro all but guarantees not a single soul will jump ship, at least using this method. Speaking of different methods to buy the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max, or iPhone SE 3, we would definitely recommend looking at what other retailers and carriers have to offer in terms of trade-in discounts before pulling the trigger. Maybe also wait two or three more weeks for a final buying decision.

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