Starting September 21, customers can bring their smartphones to Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) and Sam’s Club stores to trade them 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 hours before Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) is expected to unveil a new iPhone.
These days, smartphones are rendered obsolete about as quickly as you can buy ’em, and 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.
Wal-Mart’s is the largest such program offered by a brick-and-mortar store, a company spokeswoman said.