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Apple stores ramp up iPhone trade-in program, report says

Ahead of next month's expected unveiling of new iPhones, Apple retail stores are said to be kicking off training for a program to swap old versions of the company's flagship smartphone for new ones or credit.

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Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
Apple's flagship retail store in San Francisco.
Apple's flagship retail store in San Francisco. Apple

Apple is widely expected to hold an event unveiling the new iPhone on September 10, and the company is firing up a new trade-in service for its flagship smartphone in anticipation, according to a report on MacRumors.

Word of such a service cropped up in June, when Bloomberg reported that Apple was working with Miami-based trade-in company Brightstar on a program that would let consumers bring in their used iPhones for a discount on newer models and potentially for credit on other items in Apple's stores.

At the time, the program was said to be imminent that month, but little has been heard of it until Monday's report that Apple is starting to prepare retail workers. The first trainers are reportedly getting their instructions Monday, and they will begin teaching other employees about the program next week.

Apple representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Next month's Apple event has the rumor mill churning out speculation at top speed, but the computer maker is generally expected to be introducing a high-end flagship iPhone, called the iPhone 5S, along with a lower-cost option, called the iPhone 5C.

Reports later Monday from AllThingsD and TechCrunch reiterated movement by Apple to get the service off the ground, with the latter saying Apple is already piloting a program in some stores.

Updated at 2:19 p.m. PT with further reports about the trade-in program.