Apple Inc. (AAPL) Offers iPhone 4S Buyback Program

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) isn’t saying anything about its new iPhone – other than announcing an “event” Sept. 12 –  but it doeseems  to be dropping some hints. Some less subtle than others. Whether this new clue is a 2×4 across the head … well, we’ll let our readers be the judge.

Apple Inc. (AAPL), Inc. (AMZN), Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is utilizing its Reuse and Recycle program and its online store to help current iPhone 4S users to perhaps better afford an iPhone 5 when it comes out this fall. Apple is offering iPhone 4S users up to $345 in gift certificates for their used 4S phones which can go as credit toward a new purchase on Apple’s online store.

For those with iPhone 4S and the power cable with it, users can use the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Reuse and Recycle online wizard to determine the value of the individual device – based on color, model and condition (scratches, water damage, etc.). The wizard would take the information about the phone and quote a value for the phone, then the user sends the phone and cable in to a third-party provider, which would send a gift certificate for the assessed value (which is actually determined by the phone that is received – so no fibbing on the online wizard).

The gift certificate, however, can only be redeemed at the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) online store. A year ago, Apple offered up to $200 for iPhone 4 models leading up to the release of the iPhone 4S. This move may very well make the iPhone 5 more affordable and generate more sales, which of course would benefit owners of Apple stock. Among those making money on Apple include hedge-fund managers like Julian Robertson, who has more than 16 percent of his protfolio in Apple stock (see his full portfolio here).