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Report: iPad 2 May Drop to $299 After iPad 3 Launch

By - Source: DigiTimes | B 43 comments

Apple may reintroduce the iPad 2 with a $299 pricetag during the supposed iPad 3 launch later this month.

Last week brought reports that Apple plans to reveal two versions of the iPad 3 this month during the Macworld/iWorld expo scheduled for January 26-28, 2012, in San Francisco. Both will reportedly offer the same 9.7-inch QXGA screen (1536 x 2048) and A6 SoC, but one model will sport a 5MP camera whereas the other will feature an 8MP camera. These will serve as new mid-range and high-end tablets in Apple's iPad lineup.

As for the low-end/entry-level model, this will be Apple's current iPad 2, according to sources at Apple's supply chain partners. We speculated that it will be re-launched with a lower pricetag than what's offered now, and even suggested that Apple may introduce an 8 GB model to put Apple in a better position to compete with Amazon, Barnes & Noble and even Archos in the $199 tablet market.

However on Tuesday sources from Apple's supply chain clarified that the high-end 8MP iPad 3 will have the high resolution QXGA panel (2048 x 1536) and the 5MP mid-tier model will have the same XGA panel offered with the iPad 2 which comes with a 1024 x 768 resolution. That means Apple would essentially offer an iPad with a A5 SoC, XGA panel and a 0.3MP camera, an iPad with an A6 SoC, XGA panel and 5MP camera, and an iPad with an A6 SoC, QXGA panel and 8MP camera.

As for pricing, there's speculation that the Wi-Fi iPad 2 could sell for as low as $299 USD. Currently Apple offers three iPad 2 Wi-Fi only models: $499 for 16 GB, $599 for 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB. While it's possible that Apple may knock $200 off the price of its 16 GB model, providing an 8 GB version with a low price point seems more likely.

Will a $299 iPad tablet be competitive in a $199 tablet market? For many consumers, the $100 price gap between the Kindle Fire and the possible $299 iPad 2 may be too wide. Another problem Apple may have in competing with Amazon's Kindle Fire is that it's essentially the only Android tablet that allows consumers to purchase and stream video content directly to the device -- Google's Android Market only provides rentals (Ultraviolet doesn't count yet, sorry).

Amazon also stays competitive with the Android Market, offering a free Android app each day while countering Android Market promotions like the $4.99 albums and 0.99 EA games. To some degree Amazon and Google are tag-teaming against Apple, both providing cloud storage for video, music and ebook purchases (except for the Green Lantern license which ends in March doh). However in the long run, both Android and iOS have their strengths and weaknesses -- consumers simply need to weigh each against how much they're willing to spend.

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  • 10 Hide
    sublime2k , January 4, 2012 12:05 AM
    ta152hWhat is an XGA panel anyway? I keep seeing stuff like this, and it makes no sense. What does it mean? The only XGA I know of was a video card.

    1024×768

    Google is your friend.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    ikyung , January 3, 2012 11:12 PM
    Never thought Apple would drop prices on their products. Capitalism at its finest.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2012 11:19 PM
    @ikyung what you talking about? price reduction is not news. apple constantly drops prices on outdated products.
  • 1 Hide
    willard , January 3, 2012 11:20 PM
    ikyungNever thought Apple would drop prices on their products. Capitalism at its finest.

    You must have missed the price drop Apple, and every other company, does on their product lines once they launch a new version.
  • 7 Hide
    mman74 , January 3, 2012 11:20 PM
    I really am an Android man, but you can't honestly compare the functionality and usability of an iPad 2 with a Kindle Fire. At US$299 the iPad 2 becomes a very attractive deal.
  • 4 Hide
    josh jones , January 3, 2012 11:27 PM
    yawn... i guess i better sell my ipad 2 soon lol
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , January 3, 2012 11:30 PM
    That would make it slightly more competitive, but it would all depend on what iPad3 actually offers.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2012 11:38 PM
    mman, no sorry, Apple does NOT reduce prices on current products only their has been stuff that is not capable in most cases of running many features or current software. Since apple only offers a handful of products I find it a joke, offer 4s with Siri but drop iPhone 4 to $99 but of course it can't do Siri, which was a app and i4 and could easily run on i4 but not in apples high priced, low tech world where you charge a premium for 1 product a year that just barely cathes the competition spec wise but lower prices on hardware nobody should even want
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2012 11:39 PM
    All it shows to me is apple is finally getting it and is scared of androids market share.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2012 11:56 PM
    iPad 2 will drop to $299 BUT with 8GB memory? 8GB of memory? Are you crazy? ONLY idiot would purchase it.
  • -2 Hide
    anonymous32111 , January 3, 2012 11:59 PM
    Can't wait to miss it
  • -6 Hide
    ta152h , January 4, 2012 12:02 AM
    What is an XGA panel anyway? I keep seeing stuff like this, and it makes no sense. What does it mean? The only XGA I know of was a video card.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , January 4, 2012 12:03 AM
    Any word about plans to support 4G? I never understood why 4G, which is supported by the iPhone, was not supported by the iPad and Apple stayed at 3G there.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , January 4, 2012 12:03 AM
    I'm so tired of Corporate Greed specially in this economy. F$ck Apple high prices. iPad 2 should be $200
  • 1 Hide
    haysdb , January 4, 2012 12:04 AM
    Well, I wouldn't buy an 8 GB iPad but with iCloud it would be a perfectly functional device.
  • 10 Hide
    sublime2k , January 4, 2012 12:05 AM
    ta152hWhat is an XGA panel anyway? I keep seeing stuff like this, and it makes no sense. What does it mean? The only XGA I know of was a video card.

    1024×768

    Google is your friend.
  • 4 Hide
    haysdb , January 4, 2012 12:08 AM
    Corporate Greed? $200? Please. The iPad 2 contains more than that in materials and Apple isn't a non-profit. Their business is to make as much money as possible. If we as consumers didn't feel their products were worth what they ask for them, we wouldn't buy them. Nobody is holding a gun to my head.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 4, 2012 12:09 AM
    Whole cloth.
  • 3 Hide
    cold fire , January 4, 2012 12:13 AM
    Knowing Apple and their pricing schemes, there's no way in hell they're gonna sell iPads for $299. The original iPad still sells for around $500!
  • -5 Hide
    bee144 , January 4, 2012 12:14 AM
    haysdbCorporate Greed? $200? Please. The iPad 2 contains more than that in materials and Apple isn't a non-profit. Their business is to make as much money as possible. If we as consumers didn't feel their products were worth what they ask for them, we wouldn't buy them. Nobody is holding a gun to my head.

    This has to be one of the stupidest post I've seen in awhile. There are factors such as R&D and advertising among many other things. Think before you post again.

    Also companies can charge whatever they see fit and if you can't afford it than get offline and get a job.
  • -4 Hide
    srgess , January 4, 2012 12:32 AM
    Apple will never drop the price into something they sell a lot at this price rate, people are dumb and will ditch ipad 2 to buy ipad 3 worth the price of course no. And maybe we will see ipad 1 to 299$ lol I still have mine and it does the job very well, just a bit laggy sometimes and no flash is annoying but i will upgrade to transformer prime beast , at least they will have a micro sd card witch will be usefull for photography and transfering without having to carry their cable 1 feet shot.
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