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Apple May Start Accepting Android Phones As Trade-Ins 148

HughPickens.com writes Bloomberg reports that according to a person with knowledge of the matter, Apple plans to start accepting non-Apple devices as trade-ins as the company seeks to extend market-share gains against Android smartphones. Apple is seeking to fuel even more iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales after selling 74.5 million units in the last three months of 2014. Thanks to record sales, shipments of iPhones surpassed Android in the US with 47.7 percent of the market compared with Android's 47.6 percent. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook Apple "experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches in the three previous years." While Android phones don't hold their value as well as iPhones, it still makes sense for Apple Stores to accept them, says Israel Ganot, former CEO of Gazelle Inc., an online mobile device trade-in company. "Apple can afford to pay more than the market value to get you to switch over," says Ganot, "on the idea that you're going to fall in love with the iOS ecosystem and stay for a long time."
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Apple May Start Accepting Android Phones As Trade-Ins

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  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Thursday March 19, 2015 @08:12AM (#49290603)
    They have such a markup that they can afford to buy market share. On the other hand I don't know how attractive a change would be though. I think that a lot of people buy one system and stick with it because of the integration. Either you use hangouts, gmail, google calendar etc, or facetime, iCalender, and so on. Changing from one to another would be a pain.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday March 19, 2015 @08:20AM (#49290645) Homepage

      Oh yes SUCH a high markup....

      Ignore that the HTC M8 and the soon to be released M9 cost as much as the iphone 6 plus.

      But then we have the Samsung S6 that will only cost....... $899 to $1199

      So what it your point again? ALL cellphones are expensive as hell.

      • Yep, I was just thinking the same, and I'm a hardcore HTC fan. But the markup thing hardly stands anymore. It sounds like HTC and Samsung have decided that the only way to make your phone as cool as an iPhone 6 is to price it like an iPhone 6... :-(

      • Apple had the most profitable quarter ever recently and is the most profitable company in the world. How do you do that without heavy markup?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gnasher719 ( 869701 )

          Apple had the most profitable quarter ever recently and is the most profitable company in the world. How do you do that without heavy markup?

          You don't get highly profitable by adding a huge markup. Instead, you have to do two things: First, make production of your product as efficient as possible so that production cost plus markup isn't too high. Second, create a product that is so good that people buy it instead of competing products, even at the higher cost.

          If you don't manage these two things, then a high markup only makes you uncompetitive, you don't sell anything, and instead of profit you make losses.

          • Apple had the most profitable quarter ever recently and is the most profitable company in the world. How do you do that without heavy markup?

            You don't get highly profitable by adding a huge markup. Instead, you have to do two things: First, make production of your product as efficient as possible so that production cost plus markup isn't too high. Second, create a product that is so good that people buy it instead of competing products, even at the higher cost.

            Congratulations, you have just defined "markup"!

            • That's only the definition if you fail to think about it for 5 seconds.

              Hint: there are different components in different phones, and different components have different costs. These costs are a component of the retail price.

              Yes, there is a margin markup in the price because electronics companies are not charities. But the price difference between an android handset and an iPhone is not all margin.

            • Congratulations, you have just defined "markup"!

              Congratulations, you just proved to me and the rest of the world that you can't read.

            • Apple had the most profitable quarter ever recently and is the most profitable company in the world. How do you do that without heavy markup?

              You don't get highly profitable by adding a huge markup. Instead, you have to do two things: First, make production of your product as efficient as possible so that production cost plus markup isn't too high. Second, create a product that is so good that people buy it instead of competing products, even at the higher cost.

              Congratulations, you have just defined "markup"!

              Congratulations, you have just defined "dumb" - there is a picture of you.

        • Apple had the most profitable quarter ever recently and is the most profitable company in the world. How do you do that without heavy markup?

          Right, but why don't Samsung or HTC have such a high margin on their phones? Do they sell at a lower price because they want to be nice to you? Or because the people who set the prices at Samsung and HTC only want to charge you a "fair" price?

          Their phones are just less desirable. Supply and demand.

          • Or maybe for Samsung that profit margin is good enough and they prefer to increase their market share even if it eats into their margins a bit.

            • I don't think Sammy has anything to gain by cutting prices to get marketshare. It's good to sell more units but they don't benefit in the slightest by having a marginally higher percentage of the pie. From a platform perspective and drawing developers and mindshare, the Android share is the important number, and that's mostly out of Samsung's control, eating HTCs business is a wash and even at the prices they charge their flagship phones are still basically the same price as iPhones for the same specs and

              • Or it may just be that Samsung spends large amounts of money on things like factories and process R&D which they need to keep at full capacity and at some profit in order to sustain their business model. It's not like they're Apple who has basically no manufacturing capability whatsoever.

                • This is definitely an issue, Apple's supply chain model is much more efficient than Samsungs. Like most west asian conglomerates it maintains a bloated, 20th century heavy industrial infrastructure.

                  Why doesn't Samsung run its factories and supply chain like Apple? Because they're a byzantine Korean chaebol that doesn't know half the time if it's making a cellphone, a car or an oil tanker, and measures its success by how many little paternalistic fiefdoms it can sustain.

                  • Lately there has been a backlash against outsourcing in several fields. It may just happen that Apple's strategy is going to bite them in the end.

                    Samsung is like the world's #2 semiconductor manufacturer. They used to produce low quality products at low prices before they changed to a high-quality strategy in the 90s. They are no stranger to mass production of dirt cheap products at razor thin margins. That's how they got to where they are in semiconductors after all. The Koreans basically wiped everyone el

        • Apple had the most profitable quarter ever recently and is the most profitable company in the world. How do you do that without heavy markup?

          By not selling at a loss, unlike most others. And by selling more phones than every other company but Samsung (and being head-to-head with them).

      • by itzly ( 3699663 )

        ALL cellphones are expensive as hell.

        I just got a new Sony Xperia phone for $300. Nice screen, fast CPU. Works great.

        • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Thursday March 19, 2015 @09:13AM (#49290985)

          ALL cellphones are expensive as hell.

          I just got a new Sony Xperia phone for $300. Nice screen, fast CPU. Works great.

          Exactly. GP is like a Ferrari owner objecting to the high cost by saying "All cars are expensive - just look at the Lamborghini. And the Bugatti is more expensive than the Ferrari".

          I still use a perfectly usable Nexus 4 and my daughter has just bought a Moto-G for a fraction of the price of an iPhone and that works really well

          • Older iPhones are $100, so it's not a fraction of the price, is it?

            What your doing is comparing your pinto to a vette and pretending the you got the same car for 1/10th the price.

            • by Chrisq ( 894406 )

              Older iPhones are $100, so it's not a fraction of the price, is it?

              What your doing is comparing your pinto to a vette and pretending the you got the same car for 1/10th the price.

              Read the thread, the assertion was that "all phones are expensive" because high end Samsungs and HTCs cost as much or more than the iPhone.

      • How the hell did this get marked as insightful?

        The COGS on a $750 iPhone 6 is less than $250 [techinsights.com]. A 200% markup is a high markup.

    • I have an Android because my ex-Apple device got stolen at basically the wrong time between technology cycles and my pay cycle. I'd gladly trade my Android piece of crap in for something that does what I expect.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Although the ecosystems are separate - some of the items you call out are one way. Apple doesn't let you use facetime, iCalendar, etc. on anything but Apple devices. The other items you mention - hangouts, gmail, google calendar - all work fine on both Android and iOS. (Windows Phone users don't get Google provided versions though). It seems Apple wants to keep their users so badly that they won't make those services available on other platforms.
    • I think that a lot of people buy one system and stick with it because of the integration. Either you use hangouts, gmail, google calendar etc,

      Google was kind enough to provide most of those things for the iOS ecosystem [apple.com] as well.

      • It must be a kindness, because they certainly don't do much to update them.

        Google Voice was finally updated to support iOS 7 two days after iOS 8 shipped.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Recent versions of Android have suffered from many of the same problems that GNOME 3 suffers from. The UI is changed not because there's a good reason to, but just because it can be changed. These changes don't actually make the software more usable. In fact, the software is much less usable in most cases. And these unnecessary changes prevent beneficial changes from happening. Android's default camera software is still total crap compred to Open Camera, for example. Even when new functionality has been add

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Recent versions of Android have suffered from many of the same problems that GNOME 3 suffers from. The UI is changed not because there's a good reason to, but just because it can be changed. These changes don't actually make the software more usable. In fact, the software is much less usable in most cases. And these unnecessary changes prevent beneficial changes from happening. Android's default camera software is still total crap compred to Open Camera, for example. Even when new functionality has been added, it's rarely about benefitting the user, but more about benefiting Google in some way. GNOME 3 wasn't developed with the user's best interest in mind, and I see the same thing happening to Android. Hopefully the Android situation is reversed before it becomes a disaster like GNOME 3 became.

      That's your opinion, a whole lot of other users think Gnome 3 is a better UI with more efficient ways of doing things. If you don't like it go fork Gnome 2 and stop bothering us with your complaints about how unfair it is that things change. That's how the open source world works.

  • by beltsbear ( 2489652 ) on Thursday March 19, 2015 @08:27AM (#49290681)

    Most people will be attempting to trade in phones with almost no value. The people who buy high end Android phones are Android fans and are going to be unlikely to trade for an iPhone. The vast majority of the Android phones sold are low priced and drop to less then $50 trade in value within two years, the time that they would be traded in. An iPhone that is bought new is typically worth 3-5x that at the two year point. The 2.5 year old iPhone 5 still sells for $200 on eBay in good condition.

    • Most people will be attempting to trade in phones with almost no value. The people who buy high end Android phones are Android fans and are going to be unlikely to trade for an iPhone. The vast majority of the Android phones sold are low priced and drop to less then $50 trade in value within two years, the time that they would be traded in. An iPhone that is bought new is typically worth 3-5x that at the two year point. The 2.5 year old iPhone 5 still sells for $200 on eBay in good condition.

      If Apple sells you an iPhone 6, they can easily afford to give you $50 for an Android phone that cost $50 when you bought it and that you used for three years. They probably lose $60 (because they have to pay for recycling), but if that makes you buy the iPhone when otherwise you wouldn't have bought it, the deal is really profitable for Apple. Of course they have to calculate carefully: How many people trade in a phone who would have bought an iPhone anyway, and how many trade in a phone who wouldn't have

    • Reminds me of the following passage in the Commodore-64 Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org]:

      In January 1983, Commodore offered a $100 rebate in the United States on the purchase of a C64 to anyone trading in another video game console or computer.[27] To take advantage of this rebate, some mail-order dealers and retailers offered a Timex Sinclair 1000 for as little as $10 with purchase of a C64, so the consumer could send the TS1000 to Commodore, collect the rebate, and pocket the difference; Timex Corporation departed the com

  • Good luck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Thursday March 19, 2015 @08:30AM (#49290705)

    Apple is trying everything except the one thing that would actually work - stop price gouging their customers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Offering more reasonable prices is something a hardware company might do. Apple isn't a hardware company. They're a marketing company/religious sect that also happens to make hardware.

    • How would that work for Apple? They are pretty good at figuring out how to make the most profit on their phones. Gaining more market share at the expense of profit makes no sense.

      • by kuzb ( 724081 )

        It works for them for the same reason micro-transactions work. The more customers you have the less you need to charge to reach a given profit.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:4, Interesting)

      by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Thursday March 19, 2015 @11:11AM (#49291911)

      Apple is trying everything except the one thing that would actually work - stop price gouging their customers.

      It seems to me like everything they do works great. This story kinda sounds like BS, very un-Apple, they've never cared about market share, except in the depths of the Gil Amelio/Mac Clone days, and anyways their actual unit share of sales in the US and other developed markets is increasing.

      Everybody just wants mobile to play out like the PC/Mac wars, and for network effects to award the whole pie to the dominant player, but it's just not working out that way. Network effects don't count for much anymore, "ecosystems" aren't as closed as they were, even the Apple one, and the most important applications, the drivers of growth in the IT space, of our era are cross-platform, usually web-centered. Android has a majority of the mobile installed base, but it's a worthless hill to hold. Things have reverted to a mean and traditional branding and product positioning are more important now, you buy from a company you had a good experience with, not the company that's logo-compliant with your box at work.

      • More than that, I want there to be at least two viable platforms out there. A healthy Android stack puts pressure on Apple to make iOS better. A healthy iOS stack puts pressure on Google to make Android better.

        Who wins? We all do. I'd even like to see a better offering from Microsoft just to keep the other two honest. In a 3-way fight for my money, I'm the ultimate winner.

      • by kuzb ( 724081 )

        When you talk about "works great" you have to consider the present goal. If their plan is to grow market share it's not working great. They're losing market share because people are realizing you don't have to spent $800 to have a decent quality smartphone. The same thing is happening to Samsung - cheaper mid-range smartphones are starting to eat both their lunches.

        • Yeah I don't think market share is a goal. I think they just want to make money. What good is market share if you have to sell at or below cost to get it, and the share doesn't actually give you a competitive advantage?

          • by kuzb ( 724081 )

            Then you didn't actually read the post which starts with:

            "Apple plans to start accepting non-Apple devices as trade-ins as the company seeks to extend market-share gains against Android smartphones"

            • Yeah that's why I said I thought the articles sounded like BS. I could see it maybe being part of some kind of watch or tie-in strategy, maybe "we'll take your phone if you want to get an Apple-watch" or something like that.

              Also they might just be offering it just for the recycling value, it's not clear they're going to offer over and above the market value of the phone (i.e. "buy marketshare"), they might just be trying to front-run Gazelle's business. There are people in the article speculating that the

  • Samsung (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ark42 ( 522144 ) <slashdot&morpheussoftware,net> on Thursday March 19, 2015 @08:36AM (#49290741) Homepage

    I've really been a fan of many things Samsung in the past (TVs, LCDs, even my Blu-ray player is Samsung) and at some point I'm going to replace my Galaxy S3. The S6 is now NOT an option because of things I really care about: user replaceable battery - I use the 4x sized ZeroLemon battery from Amazon), removable SD Card, and the ability to easily root (Not sure what Knox and stuff has done to the newer models).
    Is this going to make me trade in my S3 for an Apple phone? No way. Absolutely not. Apple is even worse with all these important features. It doesn't matter how much they give me in "trade in" it's still probably less than I could get just selling the phone myself anyway.

    • by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson.gmail@com> on Thursday March 19, 2015 @08:43AM (#49290789) Journal

      Too many people sell their old phones for decent money. Others (like my sister) like their two-year-old models with all their data on them and see no real reason to upgrade, so when they're offered an upgrade, they sell the new phone.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Wouldn't it make more sense to cut the price of their contracts? Maybe it's different where you are (Canada? I have your address somewhere...) but in the UK you typically pay £40/month with a phone or £15/month for just the SIM, same talk time and data etc. When you contract ends they offer you a new phone, but you can simply switch to a cheaper contract if you like your current one and it's always cheaper even if you sell the new handset.

        • You'd think so, wouldn't you? Most of the carriers here don't offer a discount if you own your phone outright, because it's a way to lock you in for another 2-3 years. After all, if you're not getting a discount anyway, might as well take the "free" phone ... but that's starting to change. People are not used to paying for their phone - it's "free".

          I bought my last two phones outright, and it costs a lot less per month because I shopped around for a carrier that does that. Most people are lazy, or they f

          • Most of the carriers here don't offer a discount if you own your phone outright, because it's a way to lock you in for another 2-3 years.

            That's true only if by "most" you mean "only the three largest, whose business model is 'fuck over the customers as much and as often as possible,' as opposed to the dozens of MVNOs (and T-Mobile) that are better in every conceivable way."

            • The three largest have most of the market, both in the USA and Kanuckistan. The smaller ones aren't even available everywhere.
              • Do you know what an MVNO [wikipedia.org] is? Carriers #4 through infinity all piggyback on one (or more) of the big four networks; they are available wherever the corresponding big four network is available.

                For example, Page Plus Cellular uses Verizon's network, PureTalk USA uses AT&T's network, Ting uses Sprint's network (and according to the page I linked, apparently also T-Mobile's), and Straight Talk runs on all four (but not necessarily using the same phone).

                • Correction: I meant "#5 through infinity" -- apparently, I've been doing too much programming and I'm now applying zero-based indexing to real life...

        • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

          TMobile here is like that here in the US. Cheaper plan and if you want to finance your phone, you can split your phone up over up to 24 payments interest free with the option of early payoff.

    • Die hard Android fanboy exclaims how nothing will get him to switch ... Again ... Because we haven't heard the exact same thing from hundreds of others like you ...

      Apple doesn't want you, at all. You prefer things that less than 1% of the population even know about, and a hundredth of a percent of those people care about those features. People like yourself are statistical noise, nothing is lost by losing your business.

      • You prefer things that less than 1% of the population even know about, and a hundredth of a percent of those people care about those features.

        And yet, Android's global market share is over 80%.

    • You can get external USB charging packs in pretty much any form factor imaginable if you need more battery life (which you almost certainly will not with any of the larger smartphones).

      The time for replaceable batteries has long past, there is ZERO reason to cling to that dead concept.

      • by Ark42 ( 522144 )

        You realize how stupid it sounds to charge a battery with a battery that needs charging itself? Not to mention most of those basically hang from your phone by the USB cable, with no way to actually attach it to the phone?
        The battery I have basically replaces the back panel of the S3 with a larger back panel that doubles as a pretty good phone protector case too. Realistically, the whole combined size of the S3+big battery is no thicker than my wallet too.

        • You realize how stupid it sounds to charge a battery with a battery that needs charging itself?

          You realize how stupid YOU sound when a replaceable battery ALSO need charging?

          Going from one electricity sink to another does not incur huge losses.

          And you don't even have to power off your phone to switch to external power, which you do with your slightly more foolish system of taking the internal battery out.. which is even more asinine because allowing one to remove the battery means it has bulk around the ba

          • by Ark42 ( 522144 )

            I think you completely misunderstand the point of the replaceable battery I use. I don't ever switch back to the original battery. The after-market battery I put in my S3 has something like 4x the capacity of the stock battery. It takes up more space and sticks out of the back of the phone. Because of this, it includes a case back that makes the phone a bit thicker than stock, while doubling as a protective case similar to an otter-box. I no more want to swap batteries in and out day to day that I want a se

      • An important reason to want a user-replaceable battery is that rechargeable batteries wear out after two or three years. If you can replace it yourself, you can just get a compatible one from Amazon for $15. If not, then you have an expensive "repair".
    • Apple clearly doesn't make a product that satisfies your requirements.

      And you know what? That's perfectly fine. They don't need to. And you don't need them to. But the overwhelming vast majority of the market doesn't have the same requirements you do, and the products that Apple makes does meet their requirements.

      I don't understand why Apple's products have to be everything to everyone - no other company is thought of this way. Do people get up in arms because BMW doesn't make heavy duty work trucks?

  • by enjar ( 249223 ) on Thursday March 19, 2015 @08:56AM (#49290895) Homepage

    I got sick and tired of dealing with iTunes and its many failures and switched to Android. My wife still has an iDevice and regularly gripes when they change the interface, move stuff around for no reason and otherwise make the design "better".

    My Android phone has no idea about my home PC because it doesn't have to. I don't see iTunes going anywhere, no way in hell I'm going back to the iOS ecosystem. I'm not likely to get another Samsung phone, which is what I have now -- I'll likely just go for the Nexus so I can skip the bloatware.

  • ...they accept older phones and this works to mitigate Android's OS fragmentation problem.
  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Thursday March 19, 2015 @09:30AM (#49291083)

    Until bricking ransomware hits the Android market, people who like to program and play with hacks will mostly stick with Android.

    People who just want it to work and play well with their other devices in an organized way will likely use iPhone.

    • It's all about comfort, I think. People often say "it just works" because they've been trained to use the Apple UI. The same thing could be said for people who argue that the Droid (or Windows phone) interface just works like it because they know that UI.

      I'm sorry, I don't think any particular interface is going to be intuitive to someone who's not already somewhat familiar with a smart phone ui. Apple interfaces are intuitive to people who already use an Apple device.

      I'd certainly agree that apple ten
      • People were saying 'it just works' about MacOS when it was, by far, the worst POS on the market (Basically anytime prior to X).

        It didn't have pre-emtive multitasking or protected memory. Any app failure required a reboot, but 'it just works'.

        It makes sense, when you realize they are just repeating what they were told.

        • People were saying 'it just works' about MacOS when it was, by far, the worst POS on the market (Basically anytime prior to X).

          It didn't have pre-emtive multitasking or protected memory. Any app failure required a reboot, but 'it just works'.

          It makes sense, when you realize they are just repeating what they were told.

          Actually, the "It Just Works" (which was never official Apple marketing-speak) sort of just appeared sometime after OS X was released; but the concept was around back in the MacOS "Classic" days. But in that time period, the concept mainly referred to the ease with which things like Applications, Networking, Printing and Driver installation and configuration was possible with the Mac, relative to DOS and Windows environments at the time.

  • Because once someone can drag and drop photos off their device, add a micro-SD card, use standard chargers, and have almost full control over the phone, they'll definitely want to go to Apple.
    I just learned yesterday that there are two ways to get photos off an ipad air. One, download dropbox and upload them at about 1Mb/s (that's a lower case b). Two, buy a real tablet.
    • Three: Photostream uploads them to iCloud automatically. Of, if you just really need them as fast as possible: Four: plug the iPad into your Mac via USB and upload them using either iPhoto or Image Capture.
    • I just learned yesterday that there are two ways to get photos off an ipad air. One, download dropbox and upload them at about 1Mb/s (that's a lower case b). Two, buy a real tablet.

      Thank you for providing your expert opinion on a device that you 1) Clearly don't use or 2) You're too stupid to use effectively. You can attach an iPad to any computer via USB and transfer photos after "trusting" the device. You can also download one of many apps (I use iTransfer) and transfer photos via SFTP or to a network drive. But don't let facts or reason stop you. Please continue to flame a device that you don't understand.

  • Windows Phone (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KlomDark ( 6370 ) on Thursday March 19, 2015 @10:07AM (#49291353) Homepage Journal

    Strangely, in my little world, I'm seeing a surprising uptake in WIndows Phones lately. Never thought I'd see it coming. It seems people who have been happy with Android are wanting a little more, and are horribly confused by the iPhone's single button interface, and see that Windows Phone 8.1 is easier to figure out than the latest/greatest version of Android.

    Just my little ecosystem, correlation does not equal causation, but I'm finding it fascinating. Microsoft might still have some life in it. (Helps that Cricket is now giving away a couple different free Windows phones)

  • Mostly, I like WP, because it is the most simple in use. Iphone always was expenisive and I think, that they it will never be the best smartphone!

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

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