# **What does Apple do with users’ old collected iPhones?** Besides the environmental issue, recovering old phones is also a way for Apple and carriers to make more money from reselling to customers. Refurbishing companies. Besides being an environmental issue, taking back old phones is also a way for Apple and carriers to make more money from reselling to refurbishing companies. Old collection – innovation has always been a policy strongly implemented by both Apple and carriers every time they launch a new product line. So why are phone manufacturers and mobile service providers so willing to trade in users’ old phones? In theory, the old-renovation programs are advertised to keep your old phone from going to landfill or accumulating dust in desk drawers. However, the fact that taking back old phones is also a way for Apple and carriers to make more money. ## Infiltrating the factory “refurbishing” old iPhones According to data from analysis company IDC, more than 282 million old smartphones have been shipped in 2022, including refurbished or second-hand ones. used. While this is significantly less than the 1.2 billion new smartphones shipped in the same year, IDC predicts the used phone market will grow by more than 10% annually through 2026. so many phones shipped, where are they going and who will make money from them? *WSJ* reporter Joanna Stern decided to do a full analysis of the refurbishing process of old iPhones to find out what caused the boom in the used phone market. Initially, Stern reached out to carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and manufacturers like Apple and Samsung to ask questions, but did not receive any satisfactory answers. Why are carriers and phone manufacturers so cautious? The female reporter decided to find the answer by approaching companies that buy used phones from the carriers themselves. After many rejections, a company called USMP allowed Stern to visit the warehouse. their. According to Stern, in 2022, USMP processed more than 2.5 million second-hand devices acquired by the company from carriers at its New Brunswick, New Jersey facility. The majority of these are Apple iPhones. During a tour of the facility, a female reporter from *WSJ* discovered a shipment of 3,000 old iPhones from one of the major US carriers that had just arrived at the USMP warehouse. With the help of USMP CEO Sammy Sabbagh, Stern tried to open a large box and took out an old 128GB iPhone 11 from inside. This reporter then hypothesized the journey of this old iPhone. Specifically, the former owner, temporarily called Bob, has kept the phone in pretty good condition. Since Bob’s phone doesn’t have any major scratches or broken glass, he’ll probably get the biggest old refund possible. According to Apple’s website, the price will fall around 200 USD. Industry insiders reveal this is the best way to check how much someone can pay for an old iPhone. However, Stern thinks Bob’s carriers may have paid him more. Inside the plant handles more than 2.5 million second-hand devices, acquired by USMP from carriers at its facility in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Photo: WSJ. Specifically, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are having a program to swap an old iPhone 11 for an iPhone 14, provided that the phone is still as new as Bob’s and subscribed to a plan with the carrier. So how did a $200 old phone get Bob a new $800 iPhone 14? Carolina Milanesi, technology analyst at *Creative Strategies*, said that through multi-year payment plans, carriers will keep users engaged with their mobile service and thereby attract customers to choose. higher-end 5G data plans. Over time, this helps carriers recoup the costs they spend on users upgrading from an old phone to a new phone. ## Turning old iPhones into new iPhones *WSJ female reporter *reveals that up to two-thirds of old phones brought to USMP facilities have their data wiped and then resold to merchants, usually is outside the United States. The rest will go to subsidiary Back in the Box to be cleaned, refurbished and resold to buyers on Amazon or Back Market – a very popular second-hand phone market. What about Android phones? According to Back in the Box CEO Ari Marinovsky, although the company still resells some old Android devices, the main products are still iPhones and iPads due to the slightly higher prices. In addition, another important reason is that Apple still supports software updates for many years for older phones, something that few Android manufacturers can do. During the tour, Mr. Sabbagh showed Stern 4 main stops for Bob’s old iPhone 11. The first step will be to delete and classify the data. USMP has special software that can erase any data left by the previous owner. Workers then put the device through tests for each function, such as microphone, speaker, screen, camera, and buttons. In addition, the battery capacity is also carefully evaluated. Devices with a battery condition of 80% or less, meaning that the usage time has decreased by 20% or more compared to the manufacturer’s figures, will be removed for resale at a cheap price elsewhere. Next, the workers used a toothbrush to thread into the crevices, a plastic toothpick to remove the sticker, and then continued to use hand sanitizer and a microfiber cloth to clean the screen. The next stage is classification. Used phones will be checked for appearance and then sorted by price. Bob’s iPhone 11 screen doesn’t have any scratches, and also can’t see any on the case, scoring an A on the rating scale. Finally, the staff will carefully put this old A-type iPhone 11 in a padded bag and put it in the box with the new charging cable. Depending on the quality of the review, Mr. Marinovsky said refurbished iPhones cost 20-30% less than the retail price of a new phone. In the case of Bob’s old iPhone 11, Back in the Box lists the price at about $350 on Back Market. Meanwhile, at some retailers, a new iPhone 11 will cost around $500. This is a good price for users, Mr. Marinovsky said. In addition, it also brings businesses a relatively good profit of about 10-15% each.