Apple employees greet costumers on the opening of an Apple Store in Hanover, central Germany on September 27, 2014 / PETER STEFFEN/AFP/Getty Images

PCs from other manufacturers are also eligible

Apple will now buy Android owners’ handsets from them, giving gift cards that can be swapped for iPhones and iPads.

The company has long offered a similar service for its own products, but is now rolling that out to phones and PCs made by other manufacturers too.

It will be available for users in the UK, as well as other parts of Europe and America.

Customers will be able to take the phones or computers into an Apple Store and be told immediately how much it is valued at. They can then give it to Apple Store staff and begin the process of buying a new phone.

The recycle and reuse programme come with some restrictions, which will also apply to Android phones. The handsets must be in good working condition and be able to power on, and the programme can only be used by people over 18.

If the phone doesn’t meet Apple’s requirements, and can’t be traded in, Apple staff will still be able to take it away and ensure that it is responsibly recycled.

Customers can check before heading into stores whether their devices will be available for credit, using Apple’s site for the scheme.