A new report claims that Apple has started training retail store employees ahead of the launch of a new iPhone trade-in program at its retail stores. The program is said to be launched at Apple Retail Stores from next month.

Apple Reportedly Keeping iPhone 5 Repair Costs High 2 iPhone trade in program at Apple Retail Stores reportedly starts from September

It was rumored back in July that Apple had held a secret meeting under CEO TIm Cook at Fort Mason in San Francisco. The meeting was reportedly attended by leaders of Apple Retail Stores from all around the world. Agenda at this meeting was to overhaul Apple’s retail operations, with particular focus on increasing iPhone sales through the company’s own retail channel. Cook is said to have revealed at this meeting that 80 percent of all iPhone sold are being sold through carriers, retailers and other partners, not directly through Apple’s retail channels. This is a problem that Apple apparently wants to fix.

So this is where the iPhone trade-in program comes in. It is said that under this program customers will be able to trade-in their old iPhone for a newer version at a discounted price. So basically what this means is that anyone with an iPhone 4S can walk into an Apple Retail Store and by giving up their iPhone, save money on the purchase of a new iPhone 5. Apple’s carrier and retail partners already run their own trade-in programs for the smartphone, so it makes sense for the company to go down this road as well.

Employee training which is reportedly underway at retail stores is to be completed by the first week of September. The trade-in program is expected to launch around the same time Apple is expected to unveil the upcoming iPhones. This would give customers an added advantage to purchase the new smartphones directly from Apple, if they’re covered under the program. They’ll be able to trade-in their old iPhone for a brand new iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C, if both new smartphones are covered. The company hasn’t acknowledged as yet though if such a program is going to be launched in September.

Source: 9to5Mac