There are a lot of reasons this has happened, and conspiracy theorists are pointing to an unlikely iPad refresh being on the horizon. We’re not joking. Even MacNN led off with “May be eager to clear out stock ahead of iPad 3” on their post about the refurbished iPads.
If you’re in the market for an iPad, and you don’t care about running the latest and greatest software in the future, then go check out the iPad refurbs. No one knows how long these devices will run the latest and greatest iOS packages, and what features could disappear in the future as new software bundles are released by Apple, so we thought it would be appropriate to give the warning.
That being said, I have seen iOS 5 run on the first generation iPad and it’s a pretty flawless experience. Personally I prefer to future proof by buying the newest device available, but that may not be realistic for most people’s budget. The iPad 1, and especially a heavily discounted iPad 1, works great in today’s environment.