Mobile Devices

September 19, 2013

Microsoft Corporate Buyback Plan Means Big Savings on Devices

Microsoft wants your business, make no mistake about it, and Microsoft wants it pretty bad. Only a week ago, at last report, Microsoft brought out a program in which anyone who brought an iPad into one of Microsoft's brick and mortar outlets would get at least a $200 gift card for use on Microsoft devices. But new reports indicate that Microsoft is stepping up that program to a whole new level, nearly doubling the total value of an iPad trade, and beyond.

According to said reports, not only is Microsoft offering up to $350 in bounty on a traded-in device, but also, Microsoft is now taking many more devices in trade. Now on the list is not just iPads, but also iPhones, and beyond iPhones, there are also Samsung devices, BlackBerry devices, and several others besides. Those interested will only need to get hands on a Microsoft Account ID, which at last report, was available at no charge. Even businesses can get in on the action, with special provision made for businesses to trade in several devices at once and get a single quote.

Microsoft has reportedly tied in with Clover Wireless, a company that specializes in buy-back and repair services. Users will, in turn, provide some information about the device in question, and Clover Wireless in turn will create an estimate of just how much the device is worth in trade. Users then register the trades, and are provided a pre-printed shipping label along with instructions on how to pack the device up for shipment. The user in question then gets a prepaid Visa card within 60 days of the device's arrival at Clover Wireless' facilities. Clover Wireless, in turn, can either refurbish the devices or donate same for charitable purposes.

Perhaps oddest of all in this entire development is that there doesn't, as yet, seem to be an expiration date for this promotion, and there's no indication that North America is the only place in which this promotion is valid, though that could be an issue of by-default; there aren't carriers from Asia, Australia or Europe listed in the device registration section.

Still, it's clear that Microsoft is going all-out in terms of getting business over to its Surface and Windows Phone lines. We're all aware that Microsoft has been eager to get new business in—pretty much any business is eager to get new users on board, especially since Microsoft is something of a new platform in the field—but this is a new and very pronounced tactic to turn to. Microsoft is taking on entrenched rivals in the field, particularly Apple and Android devices—but it's odd to see BlackBerry devices available under the terms of Microsoft's arrangement.

It remains to be seen, however, if the new strategy will work, and it should be exciting all the same to see if it actually does. Microsoft may well have an interesting strategy on its hands, and if this works, it's worth wondering to see if anyone else will follow suit.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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