Verizon: We'll give you credit for your AT&T iPhone

During Verizon Communications' (NYSE:VZ) meeting with investors, CFO Fran Shammo highlighted the carrier's preparations for the (NASDAQ:AAPL) Apple iPhone. Interestingly, part of the carrier's efforts include a trade-in program that will give incoming AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) iPhone owners credit toward the purchase of a Verizon iPhone.

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo Verizon announced its "Trade-In Program" in October. Customers can mail in their existing phones--either GSM or CDMA--and receive a credit they can apply toward a new phone, accessory or their Verizon bill. Hundreds of phones are covered under the program, and each is afforded a specific value. The 16 GB Apple iPhone 4 for AT&T, for example, is worth $212.

"We will be taking trade-ins from anyone who wants to bring us a trade-in phone," Shammo said, explaining that customers will get a credit from a third-party vendor and then "we'll welcome them into any device on the Verizon Wireless network."

A Verizon representative said the carrier plans to more actively promote the plan as it gears up to launch the iPhone. The carrier expects to begin selling the device next month.

Shammo said the trade-in program is one of several initiatives at Verizon to prepare for the iPhone. He said the carrier has worked during the past year to prepare its network for additional iPhone data traffic. He added that the carrier has trained its staff on the iPhone's services and features; that it has reduced its handset return policy from 30 days to 14 days; and that it ended its "New Every Two" handset upgrade program.

Several wireless carriers already offer trade-in programs; for example, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) offers a buy-back program that provides credit toward the purchase of a new device or toward Sprint service. Sprint offers $232 for Apple's 16 GB iPhone 4 for AT&T.

For more:
- see this Verizon release
- see this Verizon investor conference
- see Verizon's fourth-quarter results

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