Merchant Innovation

Apple’s Newest Ploy To Poach Android Users

The Apple versus Android smartphone battle has taken a new level for the iPhone maker, which is reportedly set to offer another way to entice users of its competitors to come over to its side.

Apple will introduce a trade-in program that allows smartphone owners to give up their non-iPhones for a gift card that can be used toward a new iPhone, 9 To 5 Mac reported, citing an unnamed source. Apple already has a program to recycle old iPhones, but this initiative is geared specifically at getting more of the Android (and even BlackBerry) share turned into iPhone users.

The unnamed source told 9 To 5 Mac that this program will launch in a few weeks after employees are trained on how to handle processing exchanges. Apple will also allegedly be able to transfer contacts from those competitors to the iPhone.

While the smartphone war wages on between the two, there isn’t much room left for players outside the iPhone, Android market. In 2014, the two mobile ecosystems accounted for 96.3 percent of all smartphones sold worldwide, according to a report from IDC.

“What will bear close observation is how the two operating systems fare in 2015 and beyond,” IDC Mobile Phone Research Manager Ramon Llamas said. “Now that Apple has entered the phablet market, there are few new opportunities for the company to address. Meanwhile, Samsung experienced flat growth in 2014, forcing Android to rely more heavily on smaller vendors to drive volumes higher.”

IDC estimated that Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in Q4 2014, a 46.1 percent jump from 51 million in Q4 2013. During the same period, 289.1 million Android phones sold, up just 26.6 percent from the year-earlier when 228.4 million phones were sold. For all of 2014, Apple sold 192.7 million iPhones, while Android sold 1.06 billion units, IDC said.

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