Thus far video game retailer GameStop has stayed out of the Apple market in general and iOS sales in particular. That appears to be changing, though, as a picture of the store’s inventory system shows a new entry for iPod trade-ins. As of right now there are no listed prices for the devices, but it seems that GameStop will soon be set to accept everything from Shuffles to Touches for cash or store credit.
If true, then this will be quite a surprising development seeing as how the chain doesn’t currently deal in Apple products. While GameStop once accepted PC games and DVD movies for trades, the company slimmed down its policy a few years ago to only focus on console games. This would indeed be a strange reversal of fortune.
There is some speculation that GameStop may begin selling iPod Touches, marketed as handheld gaming systems, but that seems unlikely. The store derives most of its profits from used game sales and another big chunk from new software. Selling a piece of hardware where all content is delivered digitally and directly to the consumer seems like a bad business move for GameStop, which thrives on being the middle-man between publishers and consumers. The store hates the very idea of digital distribution, so why would it want to take a small cut of hardware sales with no future earnings potential?
The more likely scenario is that the chain is prepping for some sort of holiday promotion which will give customers hard up for cash another opportunity to earn a bit more credit toward the season’s hottest games. We’re expecting a trial run for the holidays, with performance dictating whether or not the company makes accepting iPods a standing policy.
So far neither GameStop nor Apple has commented on the rumors, so we’re forced to wait and wonder. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Would you trade your iPod in at GameStop, or are you worried that given the chain’s questionable pricing of used games that you’d only get ripped off?