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Walmart launches smartphone trade-in program

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Starting September 21, you can bring your smartphones to Walmart or Sam's Club and trade them in for credit toward the purchase of a new phone. More than 100 devices are included in the program, and they'll command anywhere from $50 to $300. The announcement came just hours before Apple unveiled two new iPhones.


We all know how quickly smartphones are rendered obsolete...as quickly as you can buy 'em! Many consumers are eager to upgrade to the latest devices before their two-year contracts expire. Many retailers, carriers and gadget recycling companies have launched trade-in programs aimed at capitalizing on those consumers. Even Apple itself recently launched a trade-in program.

Walmart is the largest such program offered by a brick-and-mortar store, a company spokesman said. 

"More and more, customers are choosing where they purchase new smartphones based on where they'll get the best value for their trade-ins," said Steve Bratspies, executive vice president of general merchandise for Walmart U.S.

Walmart offered sample values for a few 16GB models of AT&T-compatible phones in good condition. Unsurprisingly, last year's iPhone 5 comes in at the top of the range at $300. Samsung's Galaxy S3 will score a $175 credit, while the prior-generation Galaxy S2 gets only $52. The credit can be applied only to the purchase of a new smartphone.

But iPhone users looking to lock in a good trade for the upcoming new device can grab better deals elsewhere. As of Monday afternoon, a good-condition 16GB iPhone on the 
AT&T network drew a $305 offer from online service Gazelle. Target  and its trade-in partner NextWorth offered $315. 

Apple's 
newly launched "Recycling Program" for iOS devices offered the most: $336 for an iPhone 5, including the power cord. Meanwhile Samsung's newest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, which launched in April, pulled in more money than the iPhone on the non-Apple trade-in programs. The 16GB AT&T model garnered $328 on Glyde.com Monday afternoon, while Best Buy offered $310. Amazon valued the S4 at $240.

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