Apple announces its eagerly anticipated iPad 2 today, less than a year after the release of the first iPad model. It's been a busy 11 months for Apple, which sold an estimated 14.79 million iPads in 2010, according to counts from the tech website Lilluputing.
But with the iPad 2 on the way, and Apple already clearing stock and ending retailer reorders of the original, what's going to happen to all of those iPads already out in the wild?
Best-case scenario: the first-generation iPads will make their way to new owners, or be recycled. Worst case-scenario: they'll end up in the garbage where they will pollute landfills for years to come.
Luckily, if you're the proud owner of an original iPad, and looking to replace yours as soon as the new model hits the street, there are several options available for those who wish to recycle or sell their old electronics.
1. Apple itself. Apple will recycle any old computer, including iPads, whether they work or not. If it's still in good working condition and can be refurbished and reused, you'll get an Apple gift card for the value of your computer. You don't even need to do much work. Just go to Apple's recycling website, enter in the details of your old device, and they'll send you a box and a prepaid shipping label. Just pack up your old iPad, ship it, wait a few weeks, and you'll get a gift card that you can use at any Apple retail store or their online store.
2. Best Buy. If you're not willing to wait for shipping and you just want your old iPad or other computer out of the house, Best Buy will recycle it, often for free, or let you trade it in for a Best Buy gift card. Since Best Buy is an authorized Apple reseller, this might be a great way to get rid of your first-generation iPad and then walk out of the store with a new one.
3. eBay. The online auction site's new "instant sale" option lets you get an offer from eBay itself on many used electronics. As of this writing, you can get $391 for a 64 GB iPad in good condition. Shipping to eBay is free, and they'll clean your device of its personal data before reselling it.
4. Craigslist. Maybe you just want to sell your old iPad locally and not worry about dealing with companies or waiting for payment. What better place than your friendly neighborhood online flea market?
5. Earth 911. If you've been tough on your old iPad and it doesn't work anymore, you can find all of your local recycling options at Earth911.com. The site will help you make sure it gets recycled in a responsible manner that does not generate any harmful e-waste.
Of course, you could always pass on your old iPad to your favorite MNN writer. We'll make sure it gets put to good use.