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Apple Upgrade Program now accepts broken iPhones, installs screen protectors

If you’ve ever had a broken iPhone before, you know the disappointment you feel when you remember that broken iPhones can’t be awarded cash value by Apple that can be placed toward the cost of a newer iPhone. Well, a new report now says that Apple has decided to open up its Upgrade Program to broken iPhones that can be given a credit toward the next-generation iPhones.

According to 9to5mac, Apple’s decision for opening up its Upgrade Program to broken iPhones has a lot to do with iPhone adoption: since many iPhone users with broken screens or even cameras end up going with other brands because they’re forced to pay for the new iPhone without any discounts under the old law, Cupertino wants to give these iPhone users a chance to upgrade to the next iPhone(s) in order to encourage greater smartphone adoption for Apple devices. Apple doesn’t want to lose out in the smartphone race to users who would upgrade but have been hesitant to do so because their broken and damaged iPhones were not accepted. The iPhone must still be in working condition, even if damaged, so water-damaged iPhones are still not accepted, even under the new terms of the Apple Upgrade Program.

In addition to bumping up the Upgrade Program to include broken and damaged iPhones (even those including cracked screens), Apple is also installing screen protectors on iPhones as well. The company plans to install screen protector installation machines within its Apple Stores so that customers can now have specialists install their screen protectors — as opposed to before, where customers basically were left to install screen protectors themselves. Belkin is said to be partnering with Apple in the effort, and any screen protector that goes wrong will be replaced free of charge by Apple.

It’s nice to see Apple stores make these changes to its Upgrade Program, but we wish these changes had been on the scene from the start. It only makes sense that Apple would accept broken iPhones that still work; after all, if you don’t accept these iPhones back into the Upgrade Program, it gives carriers and manufacturers the opportunity to sway users over to their smartphones — which leaves Apple out in the cold. Apple knows, too, that users want to have the latest and greatest and will gladly trade in their broken iPhone for $200 credit toward the iPhone 7 if given the chance. Apple has also implemented a feature within its Upgrade Program that allows users to buy an iPhone from Apple, keep it for a year, then turn it in and receive a new iPhone free of charge (as long as the individual makes monthly payments on the device until the use period is up or the individual wants another iPhone). Apple’s Upgrade Program has moved Samsung to implement one of its own, though we’ve still not heard much about that.

These changes are designed to help users upgrade to the latest and greatest from Apple, but it highlights a problem: Apple knows its sales are climbing downhill, and, with the lack of confidence from Wall Street, is doing everything within its power to turn things around ahead of the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. Many a tech journalist has said that Apple couldn’t be any better at this point, but if CEO Tim Cook is putting all these measures in place, then there must be something more than smoke to the shaky Apple financial record claim.

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