A lot of people are getting rid of their original iPads.
Trade-in activity at programs created by eBay (EBAY), Gazelle and NextWorth are seeing a lot of customer interest. Gazelle.com, a website that offers electronic buyback, was offering to give customers around $550 for their old iPads immediately after the iPad 2 announcement, but that rate had to be adjusted within just hours because there was so much interest.
According to a Mashable report, Gazelle.com took 2,500 trade-ins Wednesday and dished out more than $1 million back to customers. When Mashable wrote the story on Thursday, another 1,000 trade-ins had already cleared the site and Gazelle expected to push through 1,000 more.
Over at auction website eBay, its Instant Sale electronic buyback program has received 22,000 iPads by people looking to unload the old device. Of those, 7,100 or so came after the iPad 2 announcement -- that’s a third of all the iPads offered by the program, showing up in one day.
If all or most of those people are planning to get an iPad 2, Apple (AAPL) is already seeing tens of thousands of sales. And these are just the trade-ins that happened in the last few days -- the trend is likely to continue straight through to March 11 and probably beyond. After that date, the buyback prices will probably drop again, which is another incentive for iPad owners looking for an upgrade to get some cash back.
Speaking of cash back, it appears Apple isn’t blind to the fact that lots of folks just bought an iPad, only to get a crushing case of buyer’s remorse upon hearing that the iPad 2 is due out in a week and at the standard iPad price. Lots of those iPads currently on sale have had their prices significantly reduced to clear out inventory in preparation for the new model, but it’s still a bit on the crushing defeat side to buy an old iPad just in time to hear about a new, substantially better one.
Customers who bought iPads from an Apple Store or online in the last two weeks before the iPad 2 announcement can receive a $100 refund from Apple, according to CNET. Online customers need to put a call in to Apple to get the refund sent their way, but brick-and-mortar shoppers can just take the receipt into an Apple store and walk out with cash.
You also have two weeks from the date of purchase to return an iPad to an Apple Store -- provided you didn’t get it engraved.
First half of 2011 could see 15 million iPad 2 shipments
Take this with a grain of salt, but reports out of Asia suggest that iPad 2 shipments could be huge this year, rivaling or surpassing the total number of iPad shipments that occurred in 2010.
DigiTimes is reporting that rumors from unnamed sources in Taiwan that manufacture electronics are funneling them numbers about the iPad 2: "Shipments of iPad 2 are expected to top 2-3 million units in March."
But shipments could shoot up to between 10 and 12 million this quarter, DigiTimes says, and the publication is projecting a total of about 40 million shipped by the end of the year (though other analysts think 30 million is a little more realistic, according to Pocket Gamer). That’s around four times as many iPads as have been sold up to now.
That’s all just speculation right now, though, and DigiTimes’ rumors aren’t always the most reliable. Still, it does seem that Apple and analysts expect a lot more tablets to move this year, and indications even early on suggest that consumers will be driving sales up, too.