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Apple said to be prepping new trade-in program on eve of iPhone 5S launch

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C on September 10. Could a new trade-in program also be on the way? 

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The Apple store in Grand Central Terminal in New York.

Mark Lennihan/AP/FILE

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September is likely to see the unveiling of a pair of new Apple smart phones: An iPhone 5S flagship device and a cheaper model iPhone 5C for budget-minded customers. It now seems like Apple is also planning to unveil a new trade-in program for older Apple models, such as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, according to a new report published on Monday.

Apple has already begun a beta trade-in test, and will begin training employees in the program over the next week, according to the report in 9 to 5 Mac that cites anonymous sources inside the company.

"[A] couple of Apple Stores in the Dallas, Texas area have internally tested procedures for the trade-in program," reports Mark Gurman of 9 to 5 Mac. "In addition to this week’s training, deliveries of empty shipping boxes have arrived at Apple Stores. These boxes will be used for Apple Stores to ship traded-in handsets. It is plausible that these devices will be refurbished and re-sold in emerging markets." 

It's unclear exactly how much money consumers would receive for their old phones, but assuming that the devices will be re-used – rather than shuttled off to the recycling heap – we'd wager on a credit of between 25 and 100 bucks for each handset.

That'd be good news for consumers, but also for Apple: the trade-in program would provide iPhone users an incentive to stay within the Apple ecosystem. 

In related news, the Apple iPhone 5S – or whatever the next Apple flagship phone is called – is expected to ship with an A7 processor approximately "31 percent" faster than the A6 in the current-model iPhone 5. "I'm hearing it's very fast," Clayton Morris of Fox News reported yesterday. That snappy processor could help make up for the fact that the iPhone 5S won't be getting a major aesthetic overhaul from the 2012 model. 

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