Best Buy Offers Free iPhone Trade-In, Recalls Laptop Battery

Best Buy Offers Free iPhone Trade-In, Recalls Laptop Battery

The electronics retailer is re-launching its iPhone trade-in program on Friday, and the promotion will run for nine days.

Best Buy Company, Inc., is reportedly re-launching a trade-in program that lets consumers swap their iPhone 4 or 4S for a “free” iPhone 5.

Separately, the Richfield-based retailer recently recalled some replacement batteries for MacBook Pro laptops due to risk of the batteries catching fire while charging.

Best Buy experienced the most successful day ever for its four-year-old trade-in program on June 1, when it offered the iPhone exchange program, according to a USA Today report, although the company reportedly declined to disclose how many older phones were turned in.

Now, Best Buy plans to re-launch the promotion on Friday and extend it for nine days, according to USA Today. The program gives eligible customers who trade in an older working model iPhone 4 or 4S a credit of up to $150, which can be used to cover the price of a new 16-gigabyte iPhone 5, at Best Buy’s current $149.99 price.

Buyers must be eligible for an iPhone upgrade with their wireless carrier (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, or Sprint) and still must pay sales tax around $35, USA Today reported. If Best Buy deems an older phone worth more than $149.99, it will give a gift card to make up the difference.

The program appears to be an effort to drive traffic to physical stores, as it is reportedly not available on Best Buy’s website. The retailer has recently announced two partnerships that will revamp the inside of some of its stores: In April, it announced plans to add mini Samsung stores within all of its roughly 1,400 Best Buy locations; earlier this month, it unveiled a similar store-within-a-store concept for Microsoft’s Windows stores.

In other Best Buy news, the retailer recently recalled about 5,100 MacBook Pro laptop batteries due to a fire risk. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Wednesday that the recall involves both black and white ATG lithium-ion replacement batteries; the model number for the black batteries is MC-MBOOK13B and the white ones are labeled MC-BOOK13W. The batteries also feature an “ATG” logo.

The CPSC said that there have been 13 reports that the batteries caught fire, including one report of a serious burn to a consumer’s leg. Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled batteries, remove them from their computers, and contact Best Buy for a replacement Apple brand battery or a $50 Best Buy gift card. Best Buy is contacting its customers about the recall, the CPSC said.

Best Buy is Minnesota’s third-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $49.6 billion for the fiscal year that ended in February.