Thursday, October 25, 2012

iPad trade-ins spike after iPad 4, iPad mini launches

iPad trade-ins and resales to third-party sites have spiked to incredible levels following Apple's Tuesday announcement of the iPad mini and the fourth-generation iPad. It's unclear, though, which of the two devices is behind the increase in trade-ins.

NextWorth, in an email they sent to media, said they saw a 1,015 percent increase in trade-ins across all iPad models. Of those, nearly two-thirds (or 66 percent) were third-generation iPads (the last model) with 28 percent of them iPad 2s and 6 percent original iPads.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday rival resale site Gazelle saw an upsurge of 700 percent from Monday. About 140,000 devices were put up for sale on Tuesday. Folks didn't even wait for the announcement, but put up their devices for sale before the 10 a.m. PDT event, as half of the spike occurred in the hours just prior to the announcement. The most commonly sold device: once again, the third-generation iPad.

It's interesting that the third-generation iPad would be the most popularly traded-in item at both sites. That device has only been available for seven months, and the only significant upgrades for the iPad 4 are the processor, the dock connector, and increased LTE support (some would even call the Lightning dock connector a negative because it renders stereo docks, etc. and cables useless, requiring still more purchases).

So why would people be turning in their iPad 3s so quickly? Gazelle says that the iPad 3, 32GB, wi-fi only is the most popular single model being traded-in. That model cost $599 new and can fetch $495 at Gazelle's site. Theoretically, consumers can trade in their 32GB wi-fi only iPad 3 and buy a 32GB wi-fi only iPad mini for $429, pocketing $66. Or, if they wanted to downsize, they could for a 16GB iPad mini and walk away with $166.

Those consumers who do so might end up disappointed. The iPad mini has an A5 processor, which means it runs only as fast as the iPhone 5. It was clear from Apple's presentation on Tuesday that they were not positioning it as a gaming tablet, as they did with the iPad 3 and now with the iPad 4.

Customers expecting iPad 3 level performance will be sorely disappointed.

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