Prices for the iPad 2 will fall as the official launch date for the iPad 3 — widely expected to be March 7 — edges closer, experts say. Consumers can expect to see a steep decline in value in the two to three weeks prior to the unveiling of the newer device, says Mark LoCastro, spokesman for sale aggregator site DealNews.com. “You’ll receive a higher resale value for your used device if you part with it now, rather than waiting for the newer generation to be announced,” he says.
The re-sale price follows the same trajectory as the iPhone, experts say. As SmartMoney.com reported, the iPhone 4 declined 20% to 25% in value on re-sale sites during the immediate launch period of the iPhone 4S, but this leveled out as the excitement over the launch subsided. The iPad 2 will likely experience a similar percentage decline after the iPad 3 is announced, says Ashley Halberstadt, a spokeswoman for re-sale site Nextworth.com. That said, LoCastro says re-sale sites want to offer aggressive pricing now in order to buy up as many units as possible while people are looking to sell — so he doesn’t rule out an uptick in price on the day the iPad 3 is announced.
However, if Apple decides to continue selling the iPad 2 at a discount alongside the spanking new iPad 3, the re-sale market for old tablets will experience an even bigger hit, LoCastro says. “This is just a rumor and many are skeptical, but if it proves true the trade-in value for your used iPad 2 will immediately plummet,” he says. (Apple did not respond to requests for comment.) That said, the value of Wi-Fi only iPads typically hold up better on the re-sale market because they don’t involve buyers taking out a two-year data plan, Halberstadt says.