Walmart Smartphone Trade-Ins Arrive Ahead of iPhone 5S, Device Recycling Goes Mainstream

With just hours to go until Apple announces the iPhone 5S, Walmart is kicking off a technology trade-in program of its own to celebrate the occasion.

Announced in a press release today, Walmart is enabling users to upgrade to the latest and greatest handsets by trading in their old devices. Starting September 21st, users can trade in their old smartphones and receive what the company is referring to as “immediate credit” towards the purchase of a next generation iPhone 5.

Any user who trades in their device to Walmart can expect to earn between $50 to $300 for their trade-in, with the price determined only by the model of the device, and any damage done to it. For example an iPhone 5 with no damage will net a user $300 while a Samsung Galaxy S3 without any damage is valued at $175 when being traded in.

Walmart will now allow users to trade in their smartphone for store credit.

Walmart will now allow users to trade in their smartphone for store credit.

Read: Best iPhone Trade-In Prices Towards the iPhone 5S

That trade-in credit is then used for another smartphone with a two-year contract from AT&T Verizon Wireless and Sprint. The company also says users can apply the credit towards prepaid smartphones as well, but the entire press release doesn’t detail if users purchasing devices for T-Mobile. Since the carrier doesn’t have two-year contracts, and separates the price of a user’s service from their smartphone, it’s possible that the carrier is simply excluded from the deal.

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Another point that isn’t made clear in today’s press release is what users can do with any leftover trade-in credit they have. If a user trades in their high-end iPhone 5 device, for $300 in credit, after using that credit towards a smartphone, it’s likely that the user could then apply that amount to purchases made in other departments inside Walmart. However the company didn’t allude to that being possible in today’s press release announcing the new trade-in program.

GottaBeMobile has emailed Walmart on both points and will update this article with more information when it’s available.

Though smartphone trade-ins are new for Walmart, many other retailers also except trade-ins for technology including BestBuy and GameStop. While trade-in values are lower at GameStop, the retailer does allow users to redeem their trade-in value in cash and store-credit, something Walmart doesn’t do.

Apple itself launched a trade-in program earlier this month. Trading in an iPhone 5 there could net users as much as $406 in Apple Store credit.

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