Courtesy Alex Wilhelm, TechCrunch
Microsoft wants to take your Apple product off your hands, today expanding its trade-in programs to allow owners of dated iPhone hardware to cash in their now-passé electronics.
If you own an iPhone 4S or 5 that is “gently used” and not much worse, Microsoft will offer you no less than $200 for it. The kicker? The funds come in the form of Microsoft Store credit, so you are trading in your Apple hardware for the chance to buy Microsoft goods.
What does Microsoft want? That you drop that iPhone off with them and wander out with a Surface 2 pre-order or a Lumia Windows Phone handset. Microsoft has cash and wants market share; this is a natural outgrowth of those two facts.
Microsoft also has in place a deal that will grant store credit for iPads. In short, if you have an Apple device that Microsoft competes with – recall that Microsoft doesn’t build PCs that are not tablet-based, through its Surface line – it wants to buy it from you and get you onto its own hardware.
In a way the move is ballsy: Microsoft is betting its own money that you will be content with its wares after a long stint on Apple silicon. And it is paying to make the wager. Precisely what Microsoft intends to do with all its accumulated Apple hardware remains opaque.
Microsoft is in the process of purchasing Nokia’s handset business, and recently announced new Surface hardware that replaces its first-generation attempts at OEM supremacy. Expect more moves like this to support Microsoft’s yet-nascent devices business.
An App Store app called iTether got a lot of attention a few months ago for allowing free 3G tethering from any iPhone. Despite the fact that carriers don’t officially support such activity apart from their exorbitant data plans, Apple originally approved iTether. The app shot to the top of the charts before it was pulled less than a day later. If you didn’t get your hands on it then, you were out of luck.
The creators of iTether are announcing something big today. Tether is launching a new HTML5 web app for the iPhone that lets you tether your 3G-enabled iPhone or iPad to any wireless-enabled device. No monthly fee. No jailbreak required.
“It was clear from our initial application iTether, there was enormous demand within the iPhone ecosystem,” says Tim Burke, CEO of Tether. “It was unfortunate that Apple decided to remove our application, only 20 hours after we launched. However, this caused us to innovate. Our underlying patent-pending technology behind Tether for iPhone is unlike anything on the market.
Unlike any other tethering solution (unsupported or otherwise) out there, Tether’s new app is entirely web-based. You don’t need to buy the app in the App Store or the jailbreak Cydia store. It creates a wireless connection over AdHoc that any device can connect to.