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Apple UK launches business Mac trade-in deal

Up to £540 for your old machine, apparently

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In a bid to get British businesses buying more Macs, Apple Europe has launched a trade-in scheme offering up to £540 ($986) for old machines.

Given the overwhelming preference for Wintel machines within the UK business community, it's surprising that Apple doesn't include kit from Dell, HP, IBM et al among the trade-in offers, at least not according to its price list.

In fact, punters can offer their old Windows machines, but whether they are acceptable and how much you might get for them is at the discretion of the second-hand PC merchant, scrap dealer or whoever it is that Apple puts you in touch with. The same actually applies to old Macs. Says Apple: "Apple establishes the first contact between you and Apple's Business Partner. It is at the sole discretion of the Business Partner to decide whether to purchase your qualifying Second-hand Product(s) and at what price."

So while you have to buy a new machine at full price from Apple's online Business store, there's no guarantee that you will actually receive any money for your old computer(s) from unnamed the third-party second-hand PC people. If you do, it may not match what's written down on price list. Not that we have any reason to believe that they won't match Apple's prices - there's simply nothing in the Ts&Cs that obliges them to do so.

Traded-in equipment must be in good working order and have been installed in your premises for at least six months. So no going off and getting an old iMac cheap on eBay, though it's entirely possible that's where all the old kit will end up, or sold on through other second-hand equipment channels.

Apple's Ts&Cs note that it's the customer's responsibility to clear old kit of confidential information and software, so we'd urge anyone thinking of taking the Mac maker up on its trade-in offer to do a full hard drive erase, zeroing all the sectors, before sending it off.

The offer ends 31 December 2004. ®

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