Apple is taking new steps in its battle against Android - aggressive steps.

Reportedly, Apple retail stores will begin a new trade-in promotion that will accept non-Apple smartphones. Customers who turn in their current Android-powered device will receive a gift card that can be used toward the purchase of a new iPhone. Previously, you were only able to trade in Apple's own products as Apple Stores did not accept hardware from Samsung, Motorola, LG and other manufacturers.

Similar to the trade-in program already in place at Apple’s retail stores for Apple products, your current Android phone’s trade-in value will depend on its physical condition. Any obvious scratches, marks or defects will result in a gift card with a lesser value. Phones will also need to function properly to be traded in.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple's retail team will help customers transfer their contacts over from the old Android phone to a new iPhone. Training for the non-Apple trade-in program is supposed to begin this week. Apple will not be responsible for users backing up their important data when switching from Android to iOS.

The new trade-in program is part of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s new initiative to boost iPhone sales. Since the iPhone is largely seen as the gateway device into the larger iOS ecosystem, it makes perfect sense for Apple to lure Android users over to its side using this aggressive method. The new trade-in program also encourages people to visit the Apple retail store rather than go to competing stores.

Apple launched similar promotions in the past, like its “back to school” plan that offered students a $50 gift card when they bought an iPhone and its recent release of a guide that helps Android users make the move to iOS and iPhone and includes instructions for transferring files over to Apple’s smartphone.

Photo: Gonzalo Baeza H | Flickr

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