Trade-in service sees MacBook boost following WWDC

A yearlong lull between MacBook Air models is driving higher than usual trade-ins of older machines, says gadget trade-in service Gazelle.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
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Surprise, surprise -- after a year's dry spell, new hardware from Apple is causing an unusually high amount of interest in people selling off their old Macs.

That's according to gadget trade-in service Gazelle, which says the number of people wanting to sell their old MacBooks is up 8 percent from the same time last year. Perhaps not too coincidentally, this is all happening following Monday's unveiling of new MacBook Airs, which hadn't been given any hardware updates in a year.

The majority of trade-ins are older models, Gazelle's "Chief Gadget Officer" Anthony Scarsella told CNET.

"Both of our highest MacBook models are around the 2009 to 2010 models," Scarsella said. "It's about three years, so people are obviously not upgrading as fast as an iPhone user would," adding that the MacBook Pro was generally being traded in more than the MacBook Air.

The company has been buying up notebooks since 2007, though gets most of its business from cell phones, which have grown faster than both Mac and PCs in recent years and are replaced more often.

While not always a direct correlation to events, Scarsella says the company can determine the general buzz for products before sales are tallied based on trade-ins surrounding news announcements -- be it a product launch, or legal decision.

Gazelle declined to provide a tally of just how many offers it was giving out to people who wanted to sell their used computers, and has previously stressed that any offers are not necessarily equivalent to completed trade-ins, since customers don't have to send in the item.

Apple's updates to the MacBook Air were largely seen as a spec bump, with Apple adding faster Intel processors, RAM, solid-state storage, and 801.11ac wireless networking. There was no design overhaul similar to the preview of the new Mac Pro, or last year's MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

How Apple's new MacBook Airs are selling won't be discussed until late next month when the company reports its third fiscal quarter earnings. With that said, the notebook went on sale Monday, and Apple's quarter closes at the end of this month. Apple also typically does not break out its notebook sales by product.