Warned by police that it may be violating the law on dealing in used products, Softbank Mobile Corp. has stopped paying new iPhone 5 purchasers for their old models, sources said Tuesday.
The mobile phone carrier failed to get permission from the Public Safety Commission to deal in used items. The group company Softbank Telecom Corp. has taken over the role of providing the trade-in service.
Softbank Mobile, which began selling Apple Inc. iPhone 5 handsets on Friday, had allowed customers to trade in older iPhone models for ¥2,000 to ¥20,000 at its outlets and electrical appliance shops.
Since the warning, Softbank Mobile has stopped accepting older models and is asking buyers to mail their old handsets to Softbank Telecom. Softbank Mobile said it will decide what to do with the older iPhone handsets that it has already accepted after consulting with the police.
Amid the iPhone 5 craze, more than 220 handsets were stolen in western Japan last week. In Osaka Prefecture alone, a combined 191 handsets were stolen from at least three retail outlets in the cities of Osaka, Ibaraki and Sakai, according to police, while a string of thefts was also reported in Kobe.