Could the killer iPad 3 announcement be a much cheaper iPad 2?
Pre-orders of the iPhone 4s may smash those of previous iPhone releases. Combined with iPad 2 sales solidifying Apple as the undisputed tablet king, Wedbush analyst Scott Sutherland believes Apple is on its way to setting sales records through at least the first half of 2012 due to its upcoming slate of new products, including iPad 3. But might a price announcement at the iPad 3 unveiling, more so than the device itself, be the reason for Apple’s future iPad success?
The strength of Apple in part lies in their ability to consistently launch innovative products consumers believe they can’t live without. No where else is this more evident than in the release of iPhone 4s, a device appearing cosmetically identical to its predecsor, but which packs significant new hardware upgrades which appeal to consumers.
Equally as innovative is Apple’s ability to offer devices at price points with cross-market appeal. Certainly iPhone 4s is groundbreaking with its new features, but just as important was the announcement of cheaper iPhone 4 ($99 for 8GB) and iPhone 3GS (free) devices, engineered to increase Apple’s smartphone market share.
This leads to the question, what if Apple were to model its iPad sales strategy after what it just announced with the iPhone?
iPad 3 will more than likely have iOS 5 and new features, and with its release, Apple could potentially capture more of the tablet market than they already have by making previous versions of the iPad cheaper. iPads might then be priced as follows:
- iPad 1 (16GB WiFi only) – $199
- iPad 2 (16 GB WiFi only) – $299
- iPad 2 (16 GB WiFi+3G) – $349
- iPad 3 (all models) – Priced identical to current iPad 2 models
In pricing iPads similar to those outlined above, Apple could offer a better tablet, at prices which put it in a position to be a better alternative to lower priced Android tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
Apple will most certainly experience a successful 2012 with the release of iPhone 4s, offering less expensive iPhone models, and a new iPad, but the popularity of the iPad could potentially center more on price rather than a new device.