iPhone recyclingSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • More than a third of Apple Store customers use Apple Trade in.
  • Tim Cook gave the news in a brief conversation with GQ on the environment.
  • He also said that Apple has really pushed trade-ins this year.

Tim Cook has revealed that more than a third of Apple customers use Apple Trade In.

In an interview with GQ prior to a Ceres anniversary gala on sustainability, Cook spoke to the magazine about Apple's dedication to sustainability and the environment.

The story notes that whilst recycling and trade-ins has long been a service offered at Apple, the company has really pushed Apple Trade In this year:

Handing your phone back to Apple has been an option for some time, but recently Apple's ramped up the push. Go ahead and scout out the new iPhone—in the process, Apple will entice you with a respectable payout for your old phone. Cook wants people to think about their phones like their cars: When you're done with one, move it on to someone who can make use of it.

Speaking on the success of the program, Cook said:

"This year we've really moved the dial on getting the consumer to think about trade-in... We were up to a third or more of the people that come into our stores that are trading in, and this number is trending up. So I think that's a positive sign."

Depending on the device, customers can trade in their iPhone for between $100 and $600 in the US, applying that value to a new purchase, or putting it on a gift card for a later date. They an also trade in iPads, Macs and Apple Watches. Even if there's no cash value, Apple will still recycle your electronic devices for free, so it can be disposed of responsibly.

GQ also asked Cook about the prospect of some kind of Apple certification that it could apply to third-party products which meet Apple's high standards of sustainability. Cook reportedly said that wasn't "off the table" and that it was something Apple was talking about:

"I don't want to pre-announce it."

In the full interview Cook also discussed Apple's target of running on 100% renewable energy, its supply chain and the hope that other companies follow Apple's example.