It's not just original iPads that are still very much in demand -- it's all tablets, past and present. According to a new report by trade-in site SellCell.com, October 2012 was the biggest month for tablet trade-ins in history, spurred by brand new tablet announcements from Google (the Nexus 10 was officially revealed), Microsoft (the long-awaited Surface saw release), and of course Apple, with the long-rumored iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad. The release of new tablets like these sent the trade-in rates on older tablets soaring, resulting in iPad trade-ins specifically up 500 percent just a week after the iPad mini announcement. In terms of devices coming in for trade, Apple's iPad claims 76 percent of trade-ins, while the BlackBerry PlayBook is next at 10 percent and then the Samsung Galaxy Tab at 7 percent.
Of course, more tablets available for trade-in means that prices drop as well, and SellCell says that's exactly what's happening. Trade-in values for the iPad 2 with 3G dropped from $375 to $275 in just the last month. But the good news is that more new tablet models also makes older tablet models more affordable, so even if you can't drop the cash on a new iPad fourth generation, maybe you can find something a little cheaper on Craigslist or trade-in sites like SellCell itself.
But the fact that there is such an active market for older tablets shows just what the demand looks like for the category at large. As long as Apple continues to have trouble keeping up with demand on new units, there will also be a trickle-down demand for older versions as well.