Apple to offer trade-in for LG smartphone users in S Korea

Seoul:┬áThe South Korean unit of Apple will run a trade-in programme to woo LG smartphone users, industry insiders said on Friday, in a move to expand its presence on the home turf of Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone vendor.

Apple’s smartphone exchange scheme with local mobile carriers will pay the trade-in value of a mobile device and an additional $135 to those who replace their LG smartphones with iPhones, according to the sources in the telecom industry.

People who have used LG’s 4G and 5G smartphones for more than a month will be eligible to apply for the program scheduled to run through September 25.

They can exchange their LG smartphones for Apple’s iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini.

Such a promotion is separate from existing trade-in programs by local mobile carriers that are subscription-based, reports Yonhap news agency.

This is the first time that Apple has decided to launch a trade-in programme for users of other smartphone brands. It will run exclusively in South Korea.

Market watchers said the latest move will help Apple absorb some users of LG smartphones following the South Korean tech giant’s decision to exit from the mobile business.

Last month, LG announced it will withdraw from the smartphone business by July 31 after years of money-losing performance.

Apple’s special trade-in scheme also aims to minimise LG phone users’ exodus to its archrival Samsung. A recent market report showed 80 percent of LG’s V50 ThinQ smartphone users switched to Samsung’s Galaxy devices.

To expand its dominant status, Samsung will also offer a similar trade-in program targeting LG smartphone users.

Samsung’s promotion will run through June 30 and will exchange Galaxy S21, Galaxy Z Fold2, Galaxy Flip 5G and Galaxy Note 20 devices for used 4G and 5G LG smartphones.