Skip to main content

Microsoft telling Apple fans it's #timetoswitch with iPhone buyback program

Microsoft is still frantically running around guns blazing while the company works towards securing the deal with Nokia. To provide an incentive for consumers to move to Windows Phone from other platforms, Forbes reports Microsoft is looking to launch a buyback program with a minimum pay out of $200 for the iPhone 4 and 5.

The #timetoswitch program will reportedly be held in select Microsoft retail stores across the US and Canada and will commence this Friday. The inside source at Microsoft reveals the company will be providing $200 in-store credit for iPhones with the aim for customers to then switch over and pick up a Windows Phone. The stores are already running a similar campaign for the iPad and Surface.

The timing is in line with the launch of the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, with attempts to draw some of the momentum away from Apple before consumers find themselves locked in new contracts. However, missing the new purchases, Microsoft is also looking at iPhone 4 and 5 owners who are reaching the ends of their plans with operators and who are possibly looking at alternatives. 

Of course, Apple just celebrated by selling a record breaking 9 million new iPhone's last weekend, so the phrase "too little, too late" may apply here.

Lumia 520

Nokia Lumia 520 - the most popular Windows Phone

It's yet another tactic the company to put its range of Windows Phones in front of consumers who wander into its brick and mortar stores. The Lumia 520 has been and is continuing to sell like hotcakes, while the Lumia 920, 925 and Lumia 1020 are available for those with more premium tastes.

Note that its reported this program isn't strictly for Windows Phones, so if you happen to have a spare iPhone in the house that wont be used in the future, be sure to take it into the Microsoft Store and see if you can get some credit.

Source: Forbes

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Iam a mad Nokia fan and support WP but this is just plain rude, let the sheep have there own, don't want em here
  • Imagine pulling some of those 9 million sheep over to wp8. That would be awesome
  • Dude.. You need a shepherd to lure them away from Apple's turf.
  • What is needed to lure any of you guys away? If they make the offer better I´ll bite. I have an old 3gs there. Maybe they can give me a 625 to see what all the WP fanboys are liking so much.
  • Are we better than the isheep?
    Yes, yes we are lol
  • No you're not. WP is bad.
  • I've own an iphone and since joining windows phones I've noticed apple copying a lot of the metro style that windows uses Hmmmm...
    and since I also have an iPhone I know there's things our iphone wish it could do natively - go finger I.D. yourself. I'm done with apple
  • How is WP bad❔
  • Your mom.
  • Well, that's rude and totally short-sighted.   As an Apple fan (yep...LOVE their computers and iPad, not so much the phone) who is considering a switch to WindowsPhone, it's interesting to see comments like these.    How is this platform going to grow if you don't want users of other phones to try it?   Think about it.
  • Knew I'd catch one of you with that post lol
  • "Catch" one of us??  Jesus.   At least when I was considering a Blackberry (have since knocked if off my list due to the company's issues) I was welcomed with open arms and had all my questions answered without BS like this. 
  • I'm sorry. There are a few people here who are very rude, like him. The rest of the community is nice, and we would love to help you. If you need extra help, ask us in the forums and we will love to help you out. :)
  • + 1020
  • Everyone here isn't like that. If you have any questions, I will gladly answer them honestly.
  • Don't listen to the dude above. I'd venture to say most people in the comments/forums are an OK group of people. Keeps me coming back and excited for the platform. Switch- its different but in a good way.
  • this guys look ridiculous with this kind of comments because they follow Microsoft and Nokia like sheeps, even when the companies put a huge finger on their asses with bad transitions, and then they call apple followers sheeps...
    Double standards at his best. And yes, I own an iPhone and a Nokia Lumia, but this comments are just senseless and childish. 
  • LOL, humor....
  • Appreciate your thoughts. We welcome you and happy to help if you need anything. +1020
  • I competely agree. I own phones from every platform (save blackberry and WebOS, I have Android, iOS and Windows Phone). Out of the three, Android user's are the nicest when it comes to new user's (in general from my experience). Though, that doesn't mean other communities don't have there share of nice and helpful user's, there just not has active or has noticable (likely due to the shear gap in numbers. There are just wayyy more android user's than there are WP or iOS users, which likely makes them more noticable).
  • Give it a whirl. I like my MacBook Pro, I run both Win 7 and OSX on it. Great hardware. Not a fan of their phones despite, or because, there are 2 in my house. I would take my Lumia 920 over any iPhone. You may like it too!
  • I tell ya. Some in this community love to talk out of both sides of their mouth. One minute its "We need to educate folks that there are other OS' out there". Only to say seconds later that you don't want others adopting WP or that you don't want market share to grow over some ridiculous idea of "keeping it cool or underground". Its like make up your mind on what you would like to see this platform be.
  • Gotta love the characters on here
  • I'm not sure how NOT recognizing the good about other platforms, and considering all the users not using WP as "sheeps" that only care about brand (or whatever it is your fantasy tells you) help the platform. It's rude even for people considering switching.
  • How stupid are these guys? Why are they going after Apple and not android? Is it because they can't get over how badly they misjudged it the first iPhone?
  • So I can get somebody's old iPhone 4 and bring it to the Microsoft Store for credit towards, say, a Surface 2? I need to hunt down the Terms & Conditions on this one.
  • Just what I was thinking.
  • Same here - got 2 iphone 4s lying around, if I can turn them into credit towards surface pro 2 it might be tempting.
  • Really - I have 3 iPhone4's sitting in my desk that I just kept around as the possibility of work loaners.  That and um, there's no Microsoft store within a 3 hour drive.....
  • Mail your phones to me ;O)
  • Paper weights...
  • How do people have that many iPhones lying around, lol?
  • Thats how Apples roll. And thats how they did sell 9mil phone in a few days. People want the new Ipuns.
  • It's going nuclear now.
  • This stuff never works because the average consumer doesn't read WPCentral.. And why would a apple fan be hanging around a Microsoft store❔ There's also just not very many MS stores around... Last, but not least, How is anyone going to know about it if the offer is not heavily advertised❔❔ They need to quit the BS and run more TV commercials,, like everyone else does... I'm sick of the marketing department at MS...
  • I'm with you man. Not sure I like this type of marketing. It makes the platform look really desperate and that's very unattractive. They should take this budget and apply it to the R&D/Eng Dept. Innovation is the true marketing power in town, and although IOS has gotten away w/o eye popping innovation lately, they can't milk that cow forever. Look how Samsung just flew by IOS by playing the innovation and the power under the hood game. MS has shown various videos of future products they're currently working on. I say lets bring those to reality now before others beat you to it. I think we're on the right track, but their delivery factor seems a bit too slow it terms of bringing those products and services to the masses.
  • hahahaha.. now you see?
    Wow..they are going to bring Nokia Devices to the ground with this BS in 2014.
  • No.. I don't see that.. The current Nokia team is still going to be in place,, doing what they've always done.. I don't know how many times I have to say that..
  • At my mall the Microsoft is separated by 2 small stores
  • At my elementary school we had pizza for lunch every Friday...
  • looking forward to brining in my old 4S and ipad2 for either a new surface or new Nokia tablet or phablet.
  • My bro has a 4 and will probably upgrade to a 5s. Hmmm...
  • Hope they have a trade your android phone for a windows phone event when the edmonton store opens in late october.
  • I wish you could get the rebate without going to a Microsoft store somehow. I dont even think there's a Microsoft store within 100 miles of me.
  • Worse still, in Malaysia, there isn't any Microsoft store at all.
    The other possibility is to trickle this offer down to OEM-specific stores (Nokia, Samsung, HTC, etc.) or independent phone retailers to get customers to trade in their iPhones for their preffered WP8 device in countries where there is no Microsoft store.
  • This should at ATT, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, O2, Orange, Rogers,, so on... Every freekin where..
  • I love WP and iPhones really annoy me, but their are still too many things to do on WP before Microsoft should be flexing its muscles and getting too cocky. Facebook app that has reliable notifications would be start Notification centre (that isn't a tile) A decent desktop app (bring back Zune) More consistent app updates, force OEM's and carriers to push updates instead of being at the mercy of them and no one know if or when we'll get our update and also what is in the update. Just my point of view right now
  • The average consumer could care less about those things.. They just want what's popular.. It's as simple as that... MS needs to find a way to make WP popular... Problem Solved.... MS could make the most terrible phone, and if they find a way to make it popular the clones will buy it... I'm not saying that they should do that, rather that's the reality of the situation... Popular❕
  • I assume you would need to sign a new contract? If not, then I'm taking all my old iPhones on Friday.
  • Yes, new contract..
  • I have two 3GSs. Guess I am out of luck :(
  • Microsoft, your ad campaigns are failing again. This looks so desperate.. seriously.
    Give to people good reasons to change, earn they trust, earn their loyalty. Don't screw costumers with bad transitions from Windows Mobile to Windows phone, then Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8 and I bet that you will get much more people switching than ever!
  • What ad campaigns? I don't consider wpcentral and you tube advertising outside of techies. Not many ads run on television for WP outside of ATT occassional camera commercials for L1020 and the one comparing the ipad & surface. I think the need to highlight features outside of the camera. average users aren't taking many pictures outside of food & profile pics for Facebook : )
  • everyone keeps saying 9 million, but Apple just started their own buyback program for iphones as well. I'm sure many 5S and 5C owners are those who decided to dump off their 4 and 4s's for the new iphones. It's what i would have done were i a sucker for apple products.
  • Yes, but they still moved 9 million units. The only reason they were successful is because they launched on the same day in China.
  • MS is falling into a trap of literally paying people to use their devices and services.
  • Buyback programs are common everywhere in the U.S.  I can walk into ATT or Verizon and get money for any (reasonably new) phone.  This is just them ensuring people switch to WindowsPhone. 
  • They are not paying anyone. They take that iPhone and refurbish it. They don't chuck em into the trash.
  • Unfortunately there aren't any Microsoft store here in the philippines. I still have my iPhone 3G. Lol
  • Oo nga!
  • If that deal works for the 1520, I'll get one heck of a deal and I get rid of that iPhone nobody really uses...
  • This is actually a smart move by Microsoft... Alot of these old iPhone will get gifted and given to parents and siblings and friends just to use as a simple phone. By taking them out of circulation, these same people could likely end up with some low end Windows phones eg. Lumia 520... Plus for all of us former iPhone users, getting $200 for a iPhone 4 with a broken home button is just awesome... Unless they pull some sketchy stuff and credit you depending on the condition... Either way it takes the sting off of a $1299 + cover Surface Pro 2!!
  • When carriers are required to push phone OS updates in a timely manner....That's when it's time to switch from Apple to MS/Windows phone. Btw, AT&T SUCKS!
  • Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint suck as well.
  • This is exactly why MS is having to do this kind of promotion, because the carriers are helping to put a bad taste in consumer mouths be delaying WP updates, so MS is trying to alleviate some of this.
  • Instead of paying for old iPhones ...they should use the money to pay ATT to improve their process for updating Windows Phones !!!
  • Why don't they have a focus on Blackberry owners given that crowd has a higher likely hood of switching!!!
  • Makes a lot of sense. I like it!! Just there's more iOS folks out there
  • sweet.... my sister has a lagging iphone 4.  I'll see if i can get her to switch.
  • How about a trade in for my Android phone...............oh yea, its a POS
  • This is exactly what BB should have done. Some people might take it as rude, but Microsoft is just advertising its stuff. Good on them for continuing to plug away.
  • There's nothing desperate about this. They do the same thing at VZW corporate stores. Take in your iPhone 4+, get $200 credit with VZW.
  • $200, for an iPhone 4!? Went to the Microsoft Store, here in St. Louis, on Saturday, and wanted to see how much they would give me for my 32Gb Surface RT, and was informed that since it was in great condition, they'd give me $88 and change. I wanted to use it to upgrade to a new Surface 2, but now I'll just wait for the fire sale, when they charge closer to what they themselves know they're worth.
  • Agreed
  • The Forbes article says trade in's only on the iPhone 4s or 5. Not the iPhone 4.
  • Yeah., but the trade in offer last week said iPhone, iPod, and iPad2, 3, & 4,, but when I went to the MS Store, they could take in literally almost any device. Hence they offered me $88 for my Surface... Meh...
  • The "9 million sold" is suspect. Mist analysts believe that it is more around 5 million (same as the iPhone 5). The inflated number comes from apple including devices shipped, with the 5c expected to have about 4 million devices sitting in stock rooms unsold.
  • Yeah, I can't be certain, but something is telling me to not truth that number. If they did, well great Job! But if uncovered down the road that they switched their math a bit from previous years so the stock wouldn't go any lower I would not be surprised. BTW, did we ever find out what company / agency placed that huge order of BB10 phones when it was announced? That also sounded a bit strange.
  • People won't switch until the overall experience is as rich as Android & iOS and lets be honest it just isn't. The Windows Phone 8 OS is nice in itself but there's nowhere near enough support from third parties to entice people, even the big name apps (Facebook & Twitter) are sub-par compared to the versions on the other OS's, until this improves people won't switch. It's the reason I'm going to switch back to Android/iOS when my contract ends in December,i like my Lumia 920 but there's just too many niggly little things I can't do on it that i could on the "big 2"
  • These reasons are why I keep switching between WP and Android. I can't say it's a lack luster experience because I like where its going but there's so many times I find it just so simplistic.
  • Can someone find out if this will work if I go to a Microsoft Specialty Store (like the ones in mall kiosks) because the closest full Microsoft Store by me is like 2 hours drive and frankly my time (and gas) are worth more to me but I would totaly do this while I was out and about anyways.
  • I don't understand why they are so obsessed with apple. it's android they should target.
  • iagree .....
  • I like this. They also need to include the original and 3g iPhone. Also if they want to drive sales of PC's or Surface they should offer trade in of XP devices. There are loads of them out there and with end of support that would provide a nice incentive to upgrade...
  • I'd love to be able to trade in my Kindle fire on a surface 2. I own no idevices at all.
  • App Store IOS better than WP Store!
  • Switch to what? To last years flagship and its (a-la Gameboy) slim versions?   Where is the new flagship? (not phablet) 
  • Windows Phone = AWESOME!!!
    Android = Hemorrhoid!!!
    Apple = Crapple!!!