The idea that someone can actually trade in older technology for a price and then use that money towards getting something better is not new but for Apple, it is. The company is reportedly allowing people to trade in their devices for a credit amount given to the user.
This is actually an update to Apple's GiveBack program, according to The Verge. Essentially, users offset the cost of buying new devices. This is apparently even in place when online, which is incredibly helpful for people that do most of their shopping on the web.
This does not mean that you could not ever get immediate credit though, in the past, you just needed to go into the store to receive a credit to use in new purchases.
Using the trade-in program actually required an individual to mail in the device and then waiting for an Apple gift or debit card. This was very offputting because it can take several days to get an item shipped and delivered. The specific days are never known, but it generally takes three days. This means in total, it would take three days to mail the device and make sure Apple got it, although it could take longer, then it would take another three to get your card, assuming that it was shipped to you. This does not include any processing time on Apple's end, which no one really knows how long that takes.
However, while there is a lot of good going on with this program, it means that there will be less old tech out on the market. This can make it harder for people to make a collection, or even find heavily discounted used models. Making a collection of old devices is something that many tech enthusiasts actually like doing as a hobby because it allows anyone to see how technology progressed over time.
This is also good for people who might not have the funds to get into the world of Apple products. In the past, Apple has been criticised by many for offering expensive products, but a program like this could lower the price significantly. It also allows for the recycling of old tech. This means that certain parts of it can be reused, this means that it can make products overall cheaper or just reduce the amount of pollution that is being created by the products dropping into landfills.