Apple to pay up to $280 for used iPhones

Apple confirmed its long-awaited iPhone trade-in program for its U.S. retail stores on Friday.

"In addition to helping support the environment, customers will be able to receive a credit for their returned phone that they can use toward the purchase of a new iPhone," a company spokeswoman said.

The long-rumored trade-in program extends an already in place Apple Recylcing service that allows customers mail in their old gadgets for gift cards or credit. Now, users will be able to trade-in their iPhones to Apple store.

An Apple employee will evaluate each iPhone to determine the condition of the device to issue the return credit of up to $280.

Currently, there are trade-in programs with third party companies or selling used phones on eBay. Gazelle, a site that offers to buy used iPhones from customers says they will pay as much as $350 for a used phone in excellent condition, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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The new recycling program is Apple's latest effort to attract and retain its customers. The trade-in credit can only be used towards the purchase of a new iPhone, unlike its competitors.