Apple is increasing efficiency amongst their iPhone upgrade process by accepting competitor smartphones as trade-ins. It’s analogous to tradinging in your Honda at a BMW dealer. Phones are sold to another company, just like car dealers sell to auction houses.
Apple is creating value for the customer by providing this service. By accepting competitor trade-ins, Apple is reducing the amount of effort required from the purchaser, removing the need to recoup costs associated with selling on eBay or Craigslist.
This is an obvious way for Apple to guarantee themselves an increase in iPhone sales. Grabbing those potential customers on the fence is key to getting iPhones in the hands of customers that might have taken years to eventually get. This new service is speeding up the process for acquiring new iPhone customers, creating value for their customer’s older inferior phones and building up area under the curve. Meaning the sooner people buy Apple products, the sooner they are upgrading those same Apple products or building their residency inside Apple’s ecosystem.