Gazelle inspects the device, erases any data on it, pays the seller, then resells the gadget online or, if it has a large number on hand, as it does now with the iPad, sells to a wholesaler.
Of the iPads that were sold to Gazelle on Wednesday, the most popular models were the 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi tablet, and the 64GB 3G.
Kennedy said selling an original iPad was one way to keep up with Apple's rapid product cycle for its tablet. "Apple is essentially asking people to upgrade a very expensive device every year," she said.
But the buyer's market in old iPads hints that Apple will convince consumers to do just that. "This is not just a successful product, but also a successful upgrade product for Apple," said Kennedy.
Apple will start selling the new iPad 2 on March 11 at its retail and online stores. Although the company kicked off iPad pre-orders last year about two weeks before the tablet reached retail, Apple's site says that iPad 2 online orders cannot be entered until March 11.
The iPad 2 starts at $499 and comes in the same configurations as its predecessor.
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