Miami - Brightstar, a services and solutions provider for the wireless industry, has acquired a majority interest in Flipswap Services, LLC.
The remaining interest of Flipswap Services will be owned by Flipswap Inc., an international provider of consumer electronics buyback programs.
Cost of the investment was not disclosed.
Utilizing Brightstar's existing relationships and Flipswap's proprietary buyback technology, the new company will work with network operators and wireless retailers to collect, refurbish and resell wireless handsets where possible, or recycle in an environmentally friendly manner those handsets that are not resalable, the companies said in a statement.
"As consumers continue to keep pace with the latest technology, the average initial ownership of a wireless phone is about 18 months, but a phone's full lifespan is much longer," said Marcelo Claure, chairman and CEO of Brightstar Corp. "We're seeing an increasing demand for buyback and trade-in programs for retired handsets that will extend the lifetime of the device, coupled with an increasingly important environmental benefit. Flipswap is at the forefront of this movement."
Flipswap Services is focused on helping retailers and operators increase their sales through the optimization of phone trade-in programs while providing an environmentally sustainable solution for the disposal of retired cellphones.
"Our joint venture with Brightstar is a major leap in our strategy to aggressively expand our business of recycling consumer electronics. The worldwide market for cell phone recycling and proper disposal is rapidly growing and we look forward to mutually increasing our market share with Brightstar through this strategic alliance," said David Stritzinger, CEO of Flipswap, in a statement.
Flipswap collects CE devices by partnering with a wide array of retailers, e-tailers, device manufacturers and websites. Launched in 2004, Flipswap will manage more than 2.5 million device buyback transactions annually.