Google goes after iPhone owners with aggressive Pixel 3A trade-in offers

Thinking of switching from an older iPhone to the Pixel 3A? Google is willing to offer you a sweet deal.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G | Mobile networks | Wireless carriers | Phones | Tablets | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms | Mobile | Console gaming
Eli Blumenthal
2 min read

Google's Pixel 3A has a lot going for it

It has an excellent rear camera similar to the one found on the Pixel 3 , strong battery life and an OLED display. And at $399 for the 3A ($479 for the larger 3A XL) there is already plenty to love about Google's latest for those looking for a new phone but who don't want to spend the $700-plus that Apple , Samsung and Google charge for their latest top-tier devices.  

People looking to upgrade from an old iPhone , however, may find Google's latest even more tempting. The search giant is taking roughly $250 off the price of a 3A or 3A XL if you're willing to trade in an iPhone SE , 6 or 6S, with the number increasing to as much as $610 for those looking to trade in an iPhone XS Max

While trading in one of Apple's latest iPhones might not make the most sense for getting the most bang for your buck, those with an aging device already considering making the switch to Android may be hard-pressed to find a better deal than a new 3A for $149. 

The exact values for the trade-in will vary based on your carrier, storage size, condition of your phone's screen and whether the device turns on. 

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Those with Verizon iPhones seem to get the best offers, often scoring a few extra dollars compared to iPhones purchased on AT&T , T-Mobile, Sprint or a smaller provider, or those that are unlocked. Google provides an "other" tab in the carrier section for unlocked phones and ones purchased on smaller providers. 

An iPhone 6 16GB will get you $252 on AT&T, $256 on Verizon and $248 on T-Mobile, Sprint or "other." 

Google's trade-in system also seems to have some weird initial quirks. A 32GB iPhone 7 on AT&T has a minimum value of $203.50 while the 256GB version of the same AT&T iPhone is $185.50. 

If you have unlocked your phone since purchasing it from a wireless provider, classifying the carrier as "other" might also help score you a few extra bucks depending on the iPhone you're trading in.

Google is offering trade-in deals for Android devices from Samsung, LG , Motorola, Huawei as well as earlier Pixels , though with the exception of the Galaxy S9 and Pixel 2 lines, those values aren't near those offered for older iPhones. 

Google's iPhone deals are so intense that it is offering between $246 and $264 for an iPhone SE. 

A new 32GB iPhone SE on Simple Mobile can currently be found for $124.99 at Target. Trading that into Google for a Pixel 3A, choosing that "other" tab will get you $250, a net savings of roughly $125 (not including taxes), giving those who don't have an iPhone to trade an easy way to buy one and save on a new Pixel.