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Apple Sells 3 Million iPads in 3 Days; Boom in Tablet Trade-Ins
By Jennifer LeClaire
Posted: November 5, 2012 11:25am PST

"We've seen this same situation before, in the smartphone market," said GTSO CEO Paul Watson of the boom in iPad trade-ins. "Consumers are happy to sell their old iPhones in order to help pay for the newest model. On average, consumers replace their phones every 18 months. We could be entering a period in which the same can be said for tablet computers."

Despite the naysayers -- and the cutthroat anti-iPad mini ads on Amazon's homepage -- Apple is reporting fast success with its newfangled tablet. Apple said it sold 3 million iPads in just three days since its launch of the new iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad.

With those numbers, Apple doubled its previous first-weekend milestone of 1.5 million Wi-Fi-only models sold for the third-generation iPad in March. The Wi-Fi plus cellular versions of both iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad will ship in a few weeks in the U.S. The iPads will come online in other nations later this year.

"Customers around the world love the new iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis. We're working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand."

Selling Your Old iPad

Apple won't be the only company profiting from the launch of its new iPad mini tablet. Green Technology Solutions (GTSO) and other e-waste recyclers are preparing for a massive boom in tablet recycling as consumers sell their older iPads to subsidize the new one.

Anthony Scarsella, chief gadget officer of e-cycling industry leader Gazelle, reports tablet trade-in volume doubled in a single day when rumors of the iPad mini entering production began to swirl in mid-September. Trade-in quote requests increased 320 percent over the previous week after last Tuesday's Apple event was announced on Oct. 16.

Those requests aren't limited to old iPads, either. Scarsella reports consumers are also trading in tablets made by Google and Amazon.

"We've seen this same situation before, in the smartphone market," said GTSO CEO Paul Watson. "Consumers are happy to sell their old iPhones in order to help pay for the newest model. On average, consumers replace their phones every 18 months. We could be entering a period in which the same can be said for tablet computers."

Apple Slashes iPad 2 Prices

The good news for consumers who have been holding out comes in the form of a price reduction on the older model. Additionally, iPad 2 is available at $399 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model and just $529 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi + 3G model where they are sold now.

The iPad mini sells for $329 for the 16 GB model, $429 for the 32 GB model and $529 for the 64 GB model. Fourth-generation iPad Wi-Fi models are available in black or white for a suggested retail price of $499 for the 16 GB model, $599 for the 32 GB model and $699 for the 64 GB model.

If you want both Wi-Fi and cellular connections, you'll pay a little more. The iPad mini with Wi-Fi plus cellular will sell for $459 for the 16 GB model, $559 for the 32 GB model and $659 for the 64 GB model. Fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi plus cellular will sell for $629 for the 16 GB model, $729 for the 32 GB model and $829 for the 64 GB model.

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