Apple confirms Apple Store iPhone trade-in program has launched today

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In line with our reports from earlier this week, Apple has announced that its Apple Store iPhone trade-in-program has launched today. The confirmation comes by way of comment to CNBC.

The trade-in-program is officially called the “iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program” and it is available in Apple Stores across the United States. It is powered in-part by BrightStar.

The trade-in process can be conducted on the store floor, or at the Genius Bar. Apple will not be heavily promoting the program with marketing signage (as of now), but Apple Store employees have been instructed to recommend the program to applicable customers.

Apple Store employees will conduct the trade-in process via the mobile EasyPay devices. A customer can bring in an iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5, and receive a gift card to be applied to a new iPhone purchase.

The new iPhone must be purchased during that same transaction and it must be an activated phone on a contract. Apple and BrightStar will create a trade-in-value for the old iPhone based on screen quality, overall hardware quality, button quality, and based off the device having or not having liquid damage.

The traded-in iPhone will be packaged in a plastic bag and shipped to BrightStar for recycling in the United States.

The iPhone trade-in values will consistently fluctuate based on supply and demand, but we’re currently hearing an average of about a $250-$253 value for a 16GB iPhone 5 in good condition. A GSM 8GB iPhone 4 will be worth between $120 and $140, while the CDMA version will be worth around $80.

The iPhone trade-in program is a component of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s new iPhone sales strategy.