iPad owners, listen up. If that Apple tablet of yours just doesn’t cut it anymore, if it’s starting to look tired and stale, if you’ve had it up to here with the whole Apple ecosystem thing, then how about trading it in for a Surface tablet?
No, honestly, this is for real – in its latest scheme to rid itself of unsold Surface devices, Microsoft is offering iPad owners the chance to trade in their tablet for a gift card worth at least $200, which it wants you to spend on a brand new you-know-what.
The deal is running at a number of the company’s US- and Canada-based retail stores until October 27. Hand over your “gently used” iPad 2, 3 or 4 to store clerks and, once they’ve been over it with a magnifying glass to evaluate how kindly you treated it, you’ll receive a gift card worth a minimum of $200. No maximum figure is mentioned by the Redmond-based company.
You can actually spend the gift card on anything at the Microsoft store, though the company makes it obvious in its sales pitch that it’d be more than delighted if you put it towards a $349 Surface RT or $799 Surface Pro.
But take note – Microsoft is gearing up to unveil the second iteration of its two 10.6-inch tablets at the end of this month, meaning they’re likely to hit stores soon after – say around October 28? In other words, any new Surface you pick up before October 27 will seem kinda old a few days later.
The computer company is pulling the wraps off the new devices on September 23, so if you are thinking about ditching your iPad for a Surface, you’d be best off waiting till then to learn more about launch dates for the new models.
As if laying the groundwork for this latest offer, Microsoft released an ad last month showing why it thinks its Surface tablet beats the iPad.
However, the fact is the Surface tablets have had a hard time of it since hitting the market in the last year. The company said recently it’d taken a $900 million write-down on unsold Surface RT tablets despite various offers this year designed to entice consumers.
In June, the company even went as far as handing out thousands of RT tablets for nothing to the first 10,000 registrants at the International Society for Technology in Education conference in Texas, while more recently it offered free RT tablets to students who use Bing.
And last month it cut the price of the 32GB RT from $499 to $349, while the 64GB version dropped to $449 from $599.
Apple, meanwhile, sold over 14.5 million iPads in its most recent quarter and is expected to unveil the iPad 5 soon, possibly next month.
So, are you thinking of swapping your iPad for a Surface?