Personalized service and integrated logistics yield airline largest iPad buyback ever.

Learn how one global airline tracks every retired iPad using Mobile reCell. By serial number, see how every device became “present and accounted for.”


The Results

  • In the end, Mobile reCell’s efforts secured $2.1 million for the airline.
  • So far the team has processed ~12,000 devices over 13 months (and counting).
  • The project is still underway with an end date of Q4 2018.


In August 2017, A North American airline was faced with the dilemma of managing older Apple iPads during a refresh of each pilots’ device. As one of the world’s largest airlines, they needed an asset recovery solution capable of spanning 11 major hubs, providing financial benefits, offering a secure packaging process, and 24/7 real-time reporting.

As the project took off in December 2017, the airline was clear about their needs, including:

  • A strong financial evaluation of the iPad Air 2
  • Guaranteed pricing for six months
  • Customized shipping options to 11 hubs.


Mobile reCell worked to address each area of concern and ultimately won the airlines business through an all-encompassing asset remarketing solution. Below is a breakdown of the customer’s previous pain points and how Mobile reCell provided a complete solution:

Customer concern: Device payout (total project compensation) would be lower than expected.

Mobile reCell solution: We offered locked in prices 10% higher than the wholesale market, resulting in almost 30% more return to use toward future projects.


Customer concern: Previous vendors quoted lower cosmetic grades for each device without evidence or explanation; similar to a bait-and-switch situation. Missing power adaptors equaled additional deductions.

Mobile reCell solution: We guaranteed grades of A, B, C and D pricing based on detailed grading criteria, determined and analyzed by our partner, Mobile reCell. Pictures were required for all C or D grade.


Customer challenge: Previous vendors required the airline to use its own shipping materials, but locating original device packaging proved to be time-consuming, labor-intensive and increased chances of damaging products during transit.

Mobile reCell solution: We created foam slotted containers (10 iPad slots per container). Mobile reCell coordinated all outbound shipments of custom boxes to each of the airline’s hubs.


Customer challenge: Previous vendors did not provide detailed process flow.

Mobile reCell solution: We provided:

  • Receipt reconciliation
  • MDM/DEP/iCloud check and removal
  • Asset tag removal
  • Data destruction
  • Audit reporting (includes IMEI, serial number, cosmetic grade, notes) - Pictures of C and D grade units


Customer challenge: Previous vendors did not provide 24/7 accessible web-based portal.

Mobile reCell solution: Mobile reCell customized the value recovery portal to support the airline’s “hub-based” needs, including:

  • Project status per hub
  • Additional Shipped VS Recieved data views
  • Additional Cosmetic Breakdown Metrics
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