The pre-ordering for the new iPad Mini began yesterday…and–for now, at least–there’s no word from Apple if that pre-order was as successful as the iPhone 5’s recent one. In other words, there’s no word of a sell-out, like that device.
Still, there is one telling statistic…and although it means something big, it’s hard to tell what exactly that is yet.
To briefly recap: on Tuesday, Qctober 23, the day of Apple’s “We have a little more to show you” event, the company unveiled its new iMac and Mac Mini; as well as its big news: a new fourth-generation iPad, which was a surprise, and the rumored iPad Mini.
Here’s the odd statistic– The Wall Street Journal‘s “Market Watch” column by Quentin Fortrell recently reported that on the same day, according to the resale-for-cash website Gazelle.com, approximately 140,000 iPads were put up for sale. That’s a 700% increase over the day before. Of that, many were sold hours before the event, and most of the ones sold appear to be the third generation iPad, introduced in March:
Another resale site, NextWorth.com , reported that trade-ins for iPads rose over 1,000% on Tuesday. (Nextworth declined to release actual numbers.) Gazelle[.com] and Nextworth are two of the biggest reselling portals, but industry experts say they represent only a small percentage of total trade-in traffic.
The $329 iPad Mini, which will hit shelves on November 2 in time for the holiday shopping season, is primarily aimed at competition from smaller, less expensive tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD and Google’s Nexus 7, both of which cost $199. But, given the price difference between the mini and other 7-inch tablets and the spate of iPad trade-ins over the last 24 hours, experts say the 7.9-inch Mini’s biggest competitor may be the larger 9.7-inch iPad.
While some people are trading in first and second generation iPads, both Nextworth and Gazelle say that nearly 70% of their resellers are dumping the iPad 3. In fact, the third generation iPad 32-gigabyte with Wi-Fi is the most popular device being traded in, according to Gazelle.com. Why? “Consumers can fetch up to $495 for an old iPad,” Scarsella says. In other words, they can swap the used tablet for the mini and walk away with over $160.
The story about the 1000% increase is actually found on cnet.com’s site.
What’s amazing to me is that the devices were sold before the new iPad and Mini were even announced, in most cases…again, many were sold hours before the event had even started.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense that the sellers did this in order to choose another tablet, like the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD…or, the new Surface (especially since it’s now on backorder). But again, selling your iPad before you’re certain there’s going to be another one also makes little sense.
There had been some concern from analysts that the iPad Mini will cut into the sales of Apple’s standard-sized iPad. A similar concern in 2010 that the just-released original iPad would cannibalize sales of Mac laptops proved to be mostly groundless.
We’ll be watching to see what Apple has to says about its iPad Mini sales, likely in a few days.