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iPad trade-in rush as launch of latest version approaches

ipad-3As the launch of the iPad 3 comes ever closer, it seems those with earlier versions of the device have been unable to resist the lure of Apple’s latest offering, with many carting their current device off to buy-back companies.

According to a Computer World report, gadget recycling company Gazelle has, in the space of a month, seen a 500 percent jump in quotes given to those interested in offloading their tablet.

“People are very eager for the iPad 3,” said Anthony Scarsella, the chief gadget officer of Gazelle, adding that the jump took place a lot earlier than it did last year with the iPad when the second version was about to be introduced.

eBay’s Instant Sale section has also seen a similar increase in interest from current iPad owners for whom only the very latest iPad iteration will do, despite no one knowing for certain what it will feature. The online auction site has reportedly received more than 125,000 tablet offers — mostly iPads — a figure 10 times larger than the number of offers received in the run up to the launch of the iPad 2 a year ago. Fancy trading in your iPad 2? As a rough guide, eBay is currently offering $296 for a fully functional 32GB Wi-Fi-only model.

Apple is set to unveil the iPad 3 in San Francisco on March 7, with many expecting the new device to come with Apple’s Retina display, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, support for 4G LTE networks and a faster processor.

Apple-iPad-3-inviteObviously it’s not hard to see that it’s the iPad rumor mill that has fueled recent trade-in activity, though the amount of influence it appears to have is surprising. Even with the merest of mentions almost a month ago suggesting that the iPad 3 might be unveiled on March 7, a 400 percent leap was seen in people expressing an interest in selling their current device at Gazelle, Scarsella told Computer World.

Not surprisingly, when Apple this week confirmed the imminent arrival of the new device with invitations to an announcement event next week, Scarsella was snowed under with inquiries.

The eagerness of current owners to cast aside their devices will of course benefit those considering dipping their toes into the tablet market for the first time. Whatever new features the iPad 3 comes with, the iPad 2 will still be a solid piece of kit, so one can assume the resellers will have little trouble passing them on.

Are you an iPad 2 owner itching to get your hands on the next version of the device? Or are you going to stick with what you’ve got?