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Apple may exchange your new iPad 3 with the fourth generation model

4th Gen iPad Apple October 23 News, Rumors, and Launch Announcements

Apple has annoyed a lot of people by updating its third generation iPad to the fourth generation model at yesterday’s new product packed event, despite the only real differences being a new processor and the Lightning connector.

The word “obsolete” — which means out-of-date or an old-fashioned design and/or features — has been laughably attached to the iPad 3, particularly by those who’ve just purchased one, however it must be grating to find out a newer model will hit the shelves very soon.

A browse through Apple’s discussion boards reveals many threads on the subject, with titles like “I want a refund,” “iPad 3 upgrade,” and even “Apple makes me sad.” The general feeling is that Apple has been too quick to update the iPad, and customers have been left feeling “cheated,” “annoyed,” and in one particular heated conversation, “screwed” too. Some members of the tech press feel the same way, with Mashable.com’s Christina Warren writing a lengthy piece on the subject where she expresses much the same emotion.

However, help could be at hand, as there are a few ways you may be able to swap your new iPad for an even newer iPad, or the iPad Mini if you’re so inclined. Apple operates a 14-day return system in most countries, so if your tablet is less than two-weeks old, head back to Apple for a refund or an exchange. This shouldn’t be a problem provided the tablet’s in as-new condition, you’ve got the receipt, and that it originally came from an Apple Store.

CNET is also reporting that some Apple Stores are extending this grace period to 30-days, opening the scheme up to a great many more people. It’s stressed that this is store specific, and the rule hasn’t been enacted by Apple, so it’s probably worth a telephone call before heading out with a 27-day old iPad 3.

In the UK, the iPad and iPad Mini’s newly updated 4G radio could help too, as both tablets will now work with EE’s 4G network. Considering the problems Apple had when it tried to advertise the iPad 3 as 4G in the UK, it may have some sympathy now it actually can provide those speeds. Again though, don’t expect anything over the 14-days, but this spec change could help you get 30-days if you try hard.

If your new iPad is over 30-days old, then it’s eBay or Craigslist for you. Just remember though, the iPad 5 will probably be along in less than six months time.