How can I get an iPad for my momma?
March 25, 2011 8:08 AM   Subscribe

What's my best option for getting my mother an iPad 16GB Wifi as reasonably priced but as reliably as possible?

My dear, sweet, sainted Mother would never admit to wanting anything in her life. When she had to give up her job to take care of my terminally-ill father full-time, she lost access to a computer and internet. She was secretly saving her nickels and dimes, though, to buy a little netbook for herself.

I took her to Best Buy because she had never actually seen a netbook and I was afraid she wouldn't be able to use something so compact. She noticed the iPads and I could tell she liked them, but she refused to admit it.

So here's the slightly boneheaded thing I did. I was afraid she would be intimidated by learning a new device, so I wanted to be SURE she really did like the iPad. She kept insisting she didn't...until I finally upped the ante and told her I already bought her one. She became positively giddy and at last revealed that she was desperate to have the little gadget.

The problem is that I did not, in fact, get her one. Like an idiot, I assumed I WOULD BE ABLE to get her an iPad 16GB with Wifi relatively easily. But now checking the Apple website,, and even, they all appear to be gone except for ebay auctions and such. So I have several questions.

1) Does the iPad 2 mean that the original iPad is now completely out of production, so stores being sold out means that the first generation is gone?

2) What are the odds of the $349 iPads coming back to the refurbished section of any time soon?

3) If I have to buy from a private individual, is ebay a safe bet? How can I have any piece of mind?

I realize that buying different versions might only add an additional $100 or so to the price, but the $399 was actually going to stretch it for me.

I would greatly appreciate your help...and so will my mom (but she won't know to thank you!!)
posted by jefficator to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: So you wouldn't be nervous about buying them from third-party vendors on Amazon?
posted by jefficator at 8:13 AM on March 25, 2011

Best answer: Have you tried a Verizon store? They well selling the iPad 1 wifi version before iPad 2 with Verizon service was announced, and have now put them on sale. Apparently the 16G wifi version is $299 (new, not refurbished).
posted by sharkfu at 8:15 AM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

*well = were
posted by sharkfu at 8:15 AM on March 25, 2011

Arrive at an apple store an hour before opening. They get limited quantities of new stock every day, but you have to be willing to get there early and then stand in line for 2-3 hours. They hand out slips for their actual stock on hand each day, so you will know for sure whether or not you will get one that day. (I.E. you won't stand in line for three hours and not get one - either you get a ticket for one in stock and wait in line, or you just get turned away at the start.)
posted by Lokheed at 8:16 AM on March 25, 2011

Why not Craigslist? I've seen plenty of 1st gen iPads for sale around here since the intro of the iPad 2. You could lay hands on it and see for yourself that it worked before parting with your cash.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:08 AM on March 25, 2011

Best answer: Found confirmation of iPads at Verizon via SlickDeals. Apparently this is in store only, and being confirmed in different states. Prices seem to vary depending on who you talk to, so it's possible some store reps won't be in the know. Best of luck.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:37 AM on March 25, 2011

Best answer: I just bought a 32G 1st gen at Verizon for $399 an hour ago. My local store was out of the 16G but they were being sold at $299 when they were in stock. I would definitely try to find one there.
posted by MaritaCov at 9:39 AM on March 25, 2011

Response by poster: I just walked out of the Verizon store with a brand new, first-generation iPad 16GB with Wifi and called my mom. She actually squealed a little when I told her I would bring it over tonight.

Thanks so much, everyone! I couldn't have made this happen without you!!
posted by jefficator at 12:45 PM on March 25, 2011 [6 favorites]

This question made me really happy. Because, well, moms deserve nice things like this!
posted by at 1:00 PM on March 25, 2011

Bought my mom one of the $349 refurbs direct from Apple a couple weeks ago and she LOVES IT. Best Mom Gift ever.
posted by mrbill at 2:51 PM on March 25, 2011

All 1st generation iPads are still under warranty from Apple, so apart from any cosmetic defects, buying used or from any vendor is fine. Apple will provide service in store for any iPad purchased from any source.

If you decide to buy used, you can look up the warranty information on Apple's site.
posted by wongcorgi at 7:30 PM on March 25, 2011

Aww. The guy who's looking for things to make him cry in the question above yours should come read this. I'm happy for you and your mom, and wish the best for your dad's health.
posted by Salamandrous at 7:50 AM on March 26, 2011

I am getting one for my mom next week (she is super jealous we got one). This question makes me happy.
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:44 PM on March 27, 2011

« Older What is the best way to word my persistent e-mail...   |   How can map Hub and Spoke operations? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.