Apple is reported to be preparing for a trade-in program at its stores by having old iPhones in exchange of Apple gift cards.

Image source:

According to reports from Bloomberg, Apple is about to launch later this month a trade-in program that would allow users to bring their old handsets in exchange of gift cards. Though Apple representatives haven’t released an official statement yet, Bloomberg further supplied that the program would encourage users to upgrade their devices to newer models of iPhone.

It has been said that Apple is partnering with Brightsar, a phone distributor responsible for trade-in services of carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile.

Sources say that the old iPhones from the US will be resold to countries like China and Africa where Apple has low marketshare. This move is for Apple to have stronger presence in the company of in demand cheaper phones. 

“The average consumer in this market cannot afford to buy a new generation device,” told by Israel Ganot, the chief executive of Gazelle, to Washington Post. “Many of those markets do not offer subsidies or face high import taxation. The average consumer will end up paying somewhere between $800 and $1,500” for a top-of-the-line smartphone such as the iPhone 5,” the officer from the online mobile trade-in service further added.

Joining the resell market would be a big move for Apple. Right now, Gabot estimates that about 20 percent of cellphone users who would resell their devices would generate more than $5 billion by 2015.