Apple Announcement Causes Tablet Trade-In Surge, Mass iPad 3 Exodus

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Time will tell how popular the newly announced iPad mini and iPad 4 will prove to be in the long run, but in the short term, initial signs point to consumer delight over Apple's decision to offer new hardware for the holidays. Resale rates for previous generation iPads skyrocketed in the wake of Apple's unveiling, with one reseller seeing iPad trade-ins jump more than 1000 percent over normal volumes.

People rushing to swap out their slates before the resale rates plummet contributed to a staggering 1015 percent increase in NextWorth's iPad trade-ins on Tuesday. NextWorth wasn't the only reseller slammed with demand; Gazelle reports that they made more than 140,000 iPad trade-in offers yesterday, which resulted in trade-in volumes more than 700 percent higher than the norm.

Which iPads the masses were handing in may be even more interesting than the sheer volume. Both sites report that around 70 percent of all iPad trade-ins consisted of the Retina-sporting iPad 3, which launched a scant seven months ago. That took even the professionals by surprise.

"Unexpectedly, the most popular model being traded in right now is the iPad 3 32GB with Wi-Fi, which we're attributing to the announcement of a new, 4th generation iPad," Anthony Scarsella, Gazelle's chief gadget officer, told us via email. "Normally the upgrade cycle for the iPad is over 1 year." The announcement of the new and improved iPad 4 so soon after the iPad 3 blindsided everybody, Scarsella went on to say.

The big question, of course, is what those legions intend to do with their newly found cash. Will they plunk it down on an iPad mini or an iPad 4? Given the glut of iPad 3 trade-ins, it's looking like the iPad 4 will be a big mover when it starts shipping on November 2nd.