From today, owners of select Samsung Galaxy devices can trade in their existing smartphones at South African iStores for credit when they buy an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus on contract. Apple has been offering a similar and even wider-reaching trade-in programme in the US since March, where it now accepts a range of Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices, and has offered rebates on old Apple devices for since 2013.
The Core Group, which distributes Apple products locally, announced the new trade-in programme this morning. It’s certainly no coincidence that today is also the day Samsung’s newest flagship handsets, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, go on sale in South Africa.
Aside from trying to lure Samsung users into joining the cult of Apple and attempting to bolster the already impressive sales of Apple’s latest smartphones, the move makes sense given that iStores already offers deals from all four of South Africa’s mobile operators (Cell C, MTN, Vodacom and Telkom) and can process upgrades or other contract renewals without requiring additional paperwork from consumers.
We won’t be at all surprised if the range of devices covered by the trade-in programme is expanded soon, but in the meantime the devices accepted include the Galaxy S3, S4, S4 Mini, S5 and S5 Mini with up to R3 500 credit on offer for 32GB variants of the S5 (presumably in excellent condition).
There’s no word on what you’ll get if you show up today with a shiny new S6 or S6 Edge, but if we were in charge that would make you eligible for a straight-up swap (please note, we’re not in charge and you probably shouldn’t try this).
In order to take up the offer you’ll need to fill in a voucher request form and you’ll either need to be upgrading an existing contract or taking out a new one. As with all things financial, it pays to read the fine print, too, which in this case states that the trade in amount on the voucher is the amount the iStore will pay you “via EFT within 14 days of date of purchase”.
That’s right, you won’t get the rebate upfront but at least you will get it as a lump sum. Also, it’s also worth pointing out that the vouchers are (for now) only valid until 31 May 2015 and are contingent on the handset you’re looking to trade in being in “good condition”.