Microsoft's iPad Trade-In Offer Is a Sour Deal: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-09-16 Print this article Print

Microsoft has fired a shot over Apple's bow. The company announced recently that customers who trade in their old iPads will receive a $200 or more credit toward the purchase of a Surface tablet. The deal follows Microsoft's heavy marketing campaign aimed at proving to customers that its own slate is better than Apple's iPad. It's a tall order to make that case, but it's one that Microsoft is trying to make, nonetheless. It's difficult to believe large numbers of iPad owners will jump to the Windows-based Surface. Although the vast majority of customers will probably balk at taking Microsoft's offer, at least some tablet buyers would like to take the company up on the deal. But for those folks, it's high time that they see the forest for the trees and understand that not all is what it seems. Microsoft's Surface tablet might be a fine device in its own right, but it's not on the same playing field as the iPad. This eWEEK slide show examines why receiving even $200-plus back is a raw deal for anyone looking to get their hands on a new tablet.

  • Microsoft's iPad Trade-In Offer Is a Sour Deal: 10 Reasons Why

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - Microsoft's iPad Trade-In Offer Is a Sour Deal: 10 Reasons Why
  • $200 Isn't Much of a Deal

    It would be nice to get a big discount on any tablet, but let's face it: $200 or more back for a Surface tablet isn't nearly as appealing as it could be. With that discount, customers would still need to come up with another $200 for the Surface RT—a device that most believe is on the way out. Granted, $200-plus is a nice discount, but it's not as great as one thinks when he or she considers the over-the-top charge for a new tablet.
    2 - $200 Isn't Much of a Deal
  • The Surface's Design Is Behind the Times

    Comparing the iPad and Surface tablet on design isn't really fair. Microsoft's slate is nice enough, but it's not nearly as good-looking as an iPad. And considering mobile products are now an extension of style, that's an important factor in customers' purchase decisions. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the Surface has fallen short on the design front.
    3 - The Surface's Design Is Behind the Times
  • The iPad Provides More Productivity

    Productivity matters greatly in the enterprise. And that's where the iPad wins out. As a result, Microsoft is effectively leaving out a key aspect of its available market. Some companies might, at first, jump at the chance to save some cash on their hardware, but after evaluating the productivity for both devices, they'll find it's better to stick with Apple's slate.
    4 - The iPad Provides More Productivity
  • The iPad Mini Isn't Included in the Deal

    Apple's iPad Mini isn't included in Microsoft's deal, based on what has been announced so far. That's somewhat disappointing. If customers want a Surface tablet badly enough, they should be able to turn in any iPad they own—not just the big ones.
    5 - The iPad Mini Isn't Included in the Deal
  • First-Generation iPads Aren't Included

    Another important point is that Microsoft is not going to allow first-generation iPad owners to turn in their slates for a Surface. That's unfortunate. The old iPads are the ones most people want to get rid of right now. And, yet, Microsoft doesn't want to take on that device. That's a mistake.
    6 - First-Generation iPads Aren't Included
  • New Surface Tablets Are Coming

    So, what are the reasons for Microsoft to offer this deal? The company plans to hold a special press event Sept. 23 during which it's expected to announce a new line of Surface tablets. In other words, the company is trying to clear out its current inventory of Surface slates, and it's using the iPad to do it.
    7 - New Surface Tablets Are Coming
  • New iPads Are Coming, Too

    Jumping into the tablet market with a new Surface doesn't make much sense for current iPad owners. At some point in the next several weeks, Apple is expected to unveil all-new iPads. Judging by the leaks so far, those devices will be even better than the current Surface lineup. So, why jump to buy a Surface now when something better is around the corner?
    8 - New iPads Are Coming, Too
  • It's Only Available at Microsoft Stores

    Microsoft's offer is only available its retail stores. Unfortunately, the vast majority of consumers around the U.S. don't have a Microsoft Store anywhere close to their homes. So, even if some iPad owners want to trade in an iPad for a Surface, actually doing so could prove difficult.
    9 - It's Only Available at Microsoft Stores
  • Data Security Is Always a Concern

    Trading in products that are used to store important data is not always a good idea. Unless a storage device is properly destroyed to ensure no one can access data, the possibility of important information getting into the wrong hands is higher than some think. Trading in an iPad presents those challenges, and that should be considered before jumping at Microsoft's offer.
    10 - Data Security Is Always a Concern
  • Other Trade-In Options Are Available

    Don't forget that the Internet and other brick-and-mortar retailers are already offering trade-in deals on Apple's products. Unlike Microsoft, those retailers aren't requiring folks only to purchase products at their stores. In fact, some people walk out of stores with cash in-hand. So, if it's cash customers are after, opting for another trade-in program could be a good idea.
    11 - Other Trade-In Options Are Available

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