Earlier today Apple updated its website where customers can send in an old device for recycling to include the Apple Watch. That means that customers can now send their old Apple Watch to be responsibly recycled through the company’s Apple Renew program free of charge, but it’s not offering customers a gift card or any credit in exchange like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
When Apple first released the Apple Watch, potential resale value and upgradability down the road was a big topic of conversation. Will that $10,000+ gold Apple Watch be worth the cost of entry if you can’t sell it for much more than the cost of gold when you want to upgrade? Since then, Apple has discontinued its fancy and expensive gold Edition models and replaced it with a sub-$1500 Ceramic model, and it’s also introduced a new second generation of the device that means first-gen devices can be found for significant discounts. But it appears Apple won’t be offering you money for your old Apple Watch like it does for iPhones, iPads, and Macs, instead it will only offer to recycle the device for free like it does with iPods.
From Apple’s Recycling website, it links to the third-party partners it uses to recycle devices and handle gift card credits where applicable. The company uses Brightstar to recycle and send out gift cards for iPads, iPhones, and other smartphones, and it uses PowerOn to do the same for Macs and PCs. It uses another partner, Sims Recycling Solutions, to recycle devices that it doesn’t offer trade-in credit for including iPods and, as of this week, Apple Watch. These programs are typically available at Apple retail stores as well as online, and you should be able to drop off recycled watches there in addition to printing out a shipping label through the online portal.
It’s still of course possible that Apple could introduce another trade-in program that offers credit or gift cards perhaps for the more expensive Watch models, but so far it has yet to do so following the launch of the second-generation device in September. There are, however, other services that offer trade-in value for old first-generation Apple Watch models. Our own trade-in tool estimates around $75 for an Apple Watch Sport in good condition, and as much as $120 for a stainless steel Apple Watch model.
The recycling partner Apple uses says devices go to ‘domestic processing facilities where a zero-landfill policy and proven sustainability give you peace of mind in knowing that your electronics will be managed responsibly.” You can print out shipping labels to send in devices online from their website here.