Whether or not the third-generation Apple iPad is “resolutionary”…er… revolutionary or not, it’s likely you want it. It’s sometimes hard not to want Apple’s latest gadget. If, however, you already own a first generation iPad (a.k.a. iPad 1) or even an iPad 2, you need not feel guilty about buying the new iPad. Apple is now offering trade-ins.
Trade-in isn’t entirely accurate. If you go through the process of pre-ordering a new iPad — which officially goes on sale at retail stores tomorrow — at Apple’s web site you won’t find a single link to an upgrade or trade-in offer. Instead, you need to visit Apple’s Reuse and Recycle page. The iPad is a part of it and you can choose to turn in your “iPad” or “iPad 2″. It’s hard to say how that list will change when Apple someday releases an iPad 4. Will the “iPad” listing become “iPad 1″ so as not to be confused with the current new “iPad”? But we digress.
The iPad recycling program is quite simple. You need only answer a series of questions that will assess the current value of your aging Apple tablet. In my case, I own a first generation iPad with 64 GB of storage, Wi-Fi and 3G. In perfect condition: no scratches, water damage, a fully-chargeable battery and all the accessories, I get $170 in Apple credit. The credit comes on an Apple Gift Card — but you can still apply it to the purchase of a new iPad.
Turning over an iPad 2 will net you even more cash. A similarly configured unit is worth $275 to Apple. Less full-featured iPads with some wear and tear on them can net you considerably less. A Wi-Fi-only model with light-to-moderate scratches and engraving on the back gets you just $60. In all instances shipping and packaging are free.
Obviously, there are other options for trading in your old Apple hardware. Gazelle can net you $350 for a perfect 64 GB AT+T iPad 2 (just $205 for a similarly configured iPad 1) and Networth is offering $220 for a 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad 2.
In my house, it’s far more likely that I’ll pass down my iPad 1 to my son or daughter and then buy the new iPad with 64 GB of storage. I still don’t know if I really need 4G. How about you? Does this trade-in/recycling program make you feel better about buying your second or third iPad in as many years? Let us know in the comments.
Bonus: Up Close with the New iPad
Photos on the New iPad
Images show up sharp and clear on the iPad's new Retina Display.