If you take time and effort, you can upgrade to a new iPhone every year for very little money. But not everyone has the willpower to deal with selling a phone on the internet, and for those people, Apple’s Trade Up program is coming to the rescue.
Apple just added the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and SE to its Trade Up program, which means you can get $315 off a new iPhone 7 when you trade in your older device.
Trade Up lets you take your old device into an Apple Store and get instant credit towards buying a new device, assuming you can find what you want in stock. The amount of money you get depends on the phone, whether it’s carrier locked, and the condition it’s currently in. You can now get up to $160 for an iPhone SE, $275 for a 6s, or $315 for a 6s Plus.
It’s worth mentioning that those valuations are far less than what you could sell your phone for privately, and even lower than some other trade-in programs. But the advantage of what Apple is offering is instant gratification: rather than waiting for someone to buy your phone and then go meet them in person, or mailing in a device, you get the money off an iPhone then and there.
Is the ~$300 you lose compared to a private sale worth it? That really depends on how much you value your time, but it’s still a lot better than having an old iPhone sitting in a drawer.