Apple's working on a 'Trade-in Tool' for checking kit for cosmetic damage

Cracked iPhone 7
Cracked iPhone 7 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's iOS 15.4 is available in developer beta form.
  • Strings found in iOS 15.4 show Apple is working on a new way to trade in old devices.
  • A new 'Trade-in Tool' will be used to check for damage.

Apple's iOS 15.4 beta has outed a potential change to the way we trade in older products with people able to display cosmetic damage to get an accurate price.

According to strings found in iOS 15.4, it seems Apple will be inserting a new step in the trade-in process that will allow people to scan their devices for cosmetic damage with Apple then likely adjusting the trade-in price accordingly.

The strings were spotted in files belonging to iOS 15.4 by 9to5Mac.

The new Trade-In Tool was found by 9to5Mac in the internal files of iOS 15.4 beta 1. As suggested by the system strings, the tool will help users get through Apple's trade-in process, which gives credit for your next purchase at the Apple Store when you send your old device to Apple.The tool will use the camera to detect cosmetic details of another device, which probably includes things like scratches, dents, or broken glass. Once the scan is complete, the tool will send the cosmetic details to Apple.

The benefits here are obvious, at least for Apple. It will be able to adjust the prices it offers for devices at the point of trade-in initiation rather than once the device has been received by one of its service centers.

While the new feature is part of iOS 15.4 it is currently disabled and cannot be tested. There's no telling when iOS 15.4 will be made available to the public, but it's likely the new 'Trade-in-Tool' will be enabled in a future beta.

The initial iOS 15.4 beta includes numerous improvements including the ability to unlock an iPhone with Face ID even when wearing a mask. That alone has the potential to make this one of the best iPhone updates in some time.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.