iPad 4, 3 and 2 Trade-ins Could Earn Customers $200 Microsoft Gift Card

Customers who own an iPad 4, 3, or 2 are being given the opportunity to trade-in their tablet to Microsoft for a $200 gift card.

The trade-in deal will be valid until Oct. 27, 2013 at Microsoft retail stores in the U.S. and Canada with a limit of one per customer.

The deal is part of Microsoft's drive to try and tempt iPad users to switch to their own Surface tablet.

However, Apple is likely to counteract Microsoft's strategy by releasing its 5th-generation model before the end of the year. Pictures of the next-generation iPad's front panel leaked towards the end of last month.

The photos showed a device that matches up with the current rumors that point to the new tablet featuring a similar design to the iPad mini. They were released by Australian writer Sonny Dickson.

Pictures of the tablet's silver rear shell was shown in other leaked pictures that show the device with a silver casing and are consistent with a previous report that stated that the next-generation full-sized iPad will feature the same touch panel technology as the current iPad Mini.

Apple suppliers have confirmed that the company is using the same technology in order to make reductions to the weight and size of the tablets, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The new iPads are also expected to use the mini's film-based touch panel. This will replace the glass layer in the previous iPad models and will reduce the thickness and weight.

What people interpret to be a normal screen is actually multiple layers that consist of touch sensors between the liquid-crystal display and the outermost cover glass. The iPad mini uses this film-based touch panel that is thinner and lighter than the glass-based touch panel found on the fourth-generation iPad.