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Apple Announces LG Trade-in Program in South Korea

By Yeti - 
31st May 2021

Industry insiders said this Friday that Apple Inc.’s South Korean unit will operate a trade-in program to woo LG Electronics Inc.’s smartphone customers, in an attempt to increase its footprint on the home territory of Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s top smartphone seller.

As per the telecom industry experts, Apple’s iPhone exchange program with Korean mobile companies will pay the trade-in value of a mobile phone plus an extra 150,000 won ($135) to customers who replace their LG handsets with iPhones.

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Who is Eligible?

Those who previously used LG’s 4G and 5G cellphones for more than a month would be eligible for the campaign. The campaign will run until September 25. They can trade in their LG phones for an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini from Apple. This is not like the current subscription-based trade-in schemes offered by local mobile operators.

It’s the first time Apple has opted to offer a trade-in option to users of other smartphone manufacturers. It will only run in South Korea exclusively.

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According to market analysts, this step will benefit Apple in absorbing some LG smartphone customers following the South Korean tech giant’s decision to abandon the mobile business. After years of failure and loss, LG said last month that it would exit the smartphone sector by July 31.

Apple Trade-in Program

Apple’s trade-in program also intends to reduce the number of LG phone consumers who switch to Samsung. According to the latest market study, 80 percent of LG’s V50 ThinQ smartphone consumers shifted to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones as a result of the trade-in program offered by mobile carriers.

Apple has been attempting to boost its market share in South Korea, where Samsung controls the majority of the market. According to Counterpoint Research, Samsung accounted for 65 percent of the total South Korean smartphone market last year, followed by Apple (21%), LG (13%), and others.

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To increase its market share, Apple released its first 5G iPhone the iPhone 12, in South Korea ahead of schedule. In February, the US tech giant launched its second Apple Store in Seoul. Samsung will also provide a similar trade-in scheme for LG smartphone holders in order to maintain its leading position. Samsung will swap Galaxy S21, Galaxy Z Fold2, Galaxy Flip 5G, and Galaxy Note 20 devices for used 4G and 5G LG smartphones through June 30.


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