Monday, February 28, 2011

So what happens to the 16GB iPad "1"?

With just over two days to go till we get the actual specifications of the new Apple iPad 2. Specifications have been leaked by "reliable sources", the leaked specifications have been denied by "reliable sources". We do know we are seeing an iPad in two days. We are sure it will have at least one camera, a front facing one for use with Apple's FaceTime. We are sure it will have at least have double the memory, at least 512MB, since the iPhone already has that much. We are sure it will have a faster processor and GPU, since the current iteration already shows some degree of stutter when playing Angry Birds HD. At the same time, I am pretty sure we will see and evolution of the iPad, rather than something radically revolutionary come out. It is not Apple's nature to render it products obsolete in one year. But in the end, I am more interested in what happens to the original iPad, rather than what the iPad 2 will be like.

Will Apple follow its pricing and placement strategy that it uses with the MacBooks, which means the updated products replace the old, at a price point the same, or nearly the same price, as the previous product. Or will it follow the iPhone pricing and placement strategy, which means continuing to produce the lowest end version of the previous model and sell it at a lower price. With the new iPad 2 coming out, I am sure it is the end of the line for the iPad 32GB and 64GB models. But if Apple follows what it does with its iPhones, it will keep the 16GB model in production for another year, and sell it at a lower price. 

While the new iPad 2 is foreseen to be the biggest stumbling block for the Android tablets as they try to establish themselves in the tablet market, a lower cost iPad "1" 16GB model could be an even problem.

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