Microsoft kicks off iPad buyback deal in latest effort to juice Surface sales
Wants customers to give up their iPads and switch to Surface; will offer minimum of $200 per tablet
Computerworld - Microsoft will pay at least $200 for used iPads made by rival Apple, and in return issue credit that customers can use to buy one of the company's Surface tablets.
On its Microsoft Store website, Microsoft outlined the buyback deal: It will accept "gently used" iPad 2, and third- and fourth-generation iPads -- the latter two models launched in 2012 -- pay a minimum of $200 for each tablet, and issue the funds as a gift card good for purchases at the Microsoft Store.
Customers must bring their used iPads to a Canadian or U.S. Microsoft retail outlet -- the program's not supported online -- where a sales person will evaluate the tablet and decide on the dollar amount. Microsoft has approximately 70 stores in the U.S.
Apple's 7.9-in. iPad Mini is not eligible for trade-in.
"Microsoft Store gift-card value ... is subject to Microsoft's discretion and manager approval," the website said. "All trade-ins are final. Limit 1 per customer."
Because the buyback program isn't available online, it's impossible to tell what Microsoft will pay for an iPad before going to a store. Re-commerce vendors such as Gazelle and NextWorth pay between $150 and $240 for a working 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad, with the lower value for the 2011 iPad 2 and the upper-end for the newest fourth-generation "Retina"-equipped device.
Buyback companies pay more for iPads with more storage space or those equipped for accessing the Internet over a mobile carrier data network.
They also pay cash for the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets made by Microsoft. NextWorth quoted $187 for a 32GB Surface RT and $338 for the entry-level 64GB Surface Pro, or 54% and 43% of the list price, respectively. Microsoft's tablets start at $349 for the Surface RT, the struggling model powered by Windows RT, a subset of the more powerful Windows 8 that can run only so-called "Metro" apps. The Surface Pro, which relies on Windows 8 and can run legacy software like the desktop version of Office 2013, starts at $799.
The Redmond, Wash. company has cut prices of both models in the last two months to account for over-optimistic inventory plans and to clear the decks before Sept. 23, when it will unveil new models for the holiday selling season.
The resulting gift cards from an iPad trade-in do not have to be used for the purchase of a Microsoft Surface, but can be redeemed for anything Microsoft sells in its stores, including third-party PCs.
The deal also offers a call for action to iPad owners who have been swayed by Microsoft's television campaign that compare various features of the Surface RT with the 9.7-in. iPad, which starts at $499 with 16GB of storage space.
Microsoft's iPad buyback program expires Oct. 27. Apple is expected to roll out new tablets this year, and if it follows last year's practice -- when it also unveiled a new iPhone in September, as it did earlier this week -- the most likely introduction date is Tuesday Oct. 22.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- IDC drops tablet sales forecast, sees phablets encroaching on the market
- Samsung to offer 3 new tablets starting Feb. 13
- Tablets remain tops in American gift-buying plans
- 'Phablets' are eating into the tablet market, IDC says
- Apple springs Retina iPad Mini on customers
- The puzzling Lumia 2520 tablet: Will it disappear when Microsoft buys Nokia?
- Dell launches four new tablets -- all on Intel chips
- Few use tablets to replace laptops
- New Kindle Fire HDX's tech support button could push IT to yell 'Mayday!'
- Kindle Fire HDX tablets show big push for business users
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- What is this "File Sync" Thing and Why Should I Care About It? All of a sudden, getting a file from your work laptop to your iPad became as simple as clicking "Save." So it's no...
- Software Asset Management: Ensuring Today's Assets Today's trends like BYOD and SaaS are new and exciting in terms of how they will help make our jobs more productive but...
- Mobile First: Securing Information Sprawl Learn how the partnership between Box and MobileIron can help you execute a "mobile first" strategy that manages and secures both mobile apps...
- AIIM Trendscape: The New Mobile Reality This AIIM Trendscape report shares data, expert opinions, and a unique perspective on the impact of cloud and mobility in the enterprise, surfacing...
- Why do you need an enterprise mobile platform? Today companies must offer great apps that run on a range of devices, and connect to an exploding set of backend data. Appcelerator...
- Technology for Everyone A Kansas school district modernizes teaching and learning and paves the way to a one-to-one program with a comprehensive upgrade of its wireless... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts