What is the best indicator that release date for the iPad Mini 2 with Retina and iPad 5 is fast approaching? It could be discounted iPads in open-box with price off of up to $50 per unit.
U.S. retail giant Best Buy, according to Gotta Be Mobile, appears to be accelerating the inventory clearing of its iPad Mini and iPad 4 stocks by offering the iOS tablets in open-box conditions.
Open-box items, according to Best Buy, "are products that have been removed from their packaging as they may be display units or returned items." But they are as good as the freshly-minted units and even better than the refurbished devices that Apple sells via its online store, the same GBM report said.
While the two product categories carry all the tablet accessories and are packaged with the normal 12-month warranty, open-box items normally are in near-pristine condition while the refurbished could come with minor scratches.
In many cases, however, it is the pre-owned iPads that offer lower pricing, which is especially attractive to the budget-conscious buyers.
The latest iPad promo deal from Best Buy is actually unpublicised but is being implemented on different U.S. branches of the retail store. As such, actual pricing will likely vary though it is the 9.7-inch iPad 4 that offers the best price cut of $50 for the 32GB slab hooked up with AT&T and Verizon.
Discounts offered on the iPad Mini will not go beyond the $22 mark, GBM said on its report.
This is the time of the year in which blockbuster deals from the likes of Amazon, Target and Walmart (Best Buy including) sprout as they push out the old units of smartphones and tablets to make room for the new deliveries.
The ploy also allows additional cash hauls on soon-to-fade-out gadget products for both manufacturers and retailers, analysts said.
But the most notable signal coming from these pre-holiday retail activities is the preparation for the giant push to happen in the fourth quarter of a given year, say Q4 2013. In Best Buy's case, it could be that it has started the shift to focus on the fresh Apple products that the tech giant will start coming in fall of the same year.
Part of this successive device releases are the iPad 5, rumoured to have slimmed down and lighter, and the iPad Mini 2, which will replace the first edition, showcasing key upgrades such as a faster processor and Retina display panel.
Release dates of the two iOS 7-powered slates are pegged by analysts on November 2013 with the twin-launch set to happen in October or a few weeks following the Sept 20 rollout of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.