Foxconn website overwhelmed on first day of sales of recycled Apple iPhones and iPads

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 April, 2015, 4:36pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 April, 2015, 5:44pm

Apple supplier Foxconn's website was struggling with heavy traffic on Wednesday after the company began offering recycled iPhones and iPads for sale as part of a trade-in programme announced last month. 

Foxconn had said that the second-hand devices would only be available on at 12 noon every Wednesday, and previously delayed the start of sales from last week to this. Sales would be limited to one device per customer and would be limited according to the stocks available, it said on the site.

“May I say it is a good problem and a recognition that we are doing the right thing.” Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo said.

“Hopefully we will soon resolve the network congestion and meet the overwhelming demand for our screened, repaired and warranted secondhand iPhones and iPads.”

Woo declined to say how many secondhand Apple products sold today. “Our offers depend on how many customers can trade their old iPhones and iPads,” he said.

The difficulty of accessing the site left some would-be purchasers frustrated.

“I have been very worried since this morning because I haven’t been able to reach the site. The website was down often and I was told that server too busy all the time,” said Vivian Zhang, a Shenzhen-based college student who was attempting to buy a used iPhone 5s.

When Zhang came back from lunch at around 2pm, she found all products sold out, but said she would try again next Wednesday.

“I’m looking for a job in Shenzhen. I think an iPhone 5S is affordable for me and would help to make me look professional," she said. 

Under the programme, which started on March 31, people can trade-in previous-generation iPhones or iPads bought in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.

In China, a pre-owned iPhone 5S can be traded-in at an Apple store for around 1,500 yuan (US$242), but generally resell for around 2,099 yuan. A used iPhone 4S fetches 500 yuan and sells for 899 yuan, according to Apple and Foxconn.