iPad pricing seen plummeting to $299

The future painted by DigiTimes this morning certainly sounds nice: iPads selling for as little as $299, and a next-generation model with a high-density display starting at just $399—a hundred bucks less than what the iPad 2 costs today.

Well, there’s no harm in a little wishful thinking.

The site claims there’s sound reasoning behind those expectations, though. It quotes “sources from Apple’s supply chain” who foretell two third-generation iPads: one with a 2048×1536 display and another with the same 1024×768 panel as the iPad 2. If the iPad 2 is meant to stay on the market alongside the new devices, DigiTimes says, Apple could find itself compelled to change its pricing strategy. The company might charge $299 for the iPad 2 and price the two next-generation models at $349 and $399 (for the Wi-Fi only variants, at least). Doing so would allow it to go after ultra-cheap Android offerings like the Kindle Fire.

Considering the very same website reported on a drop in iPad 2 orders in the supply chain last week, it’s hard to know whether the iPad 2 will be reborn as a bargain-basement tablet… or quickly and quietly discontinued. Who knows, though? Apple’s strategy of offering new and old devices concurrently at different prices has worked with the iPhone, and in the tablet arena, it could be the company’s ticket to an even more massive market share.

Comments closed
    • Anarchist
    • 8 years ago

    I guess the real question is this … what do you have to do to earn $299 which then you can plunk down on a device of limited capability when chances are you already have another device(s) with higher capability/capacity. Last I checked $299 was still a good amount of money …

    • trackerben
    • 8 years ago

    Tablet strategies have to be seen from a global perspective. Content on Apple’s appstore is accessible worldwide. There are some availability and pricing exceptions as with videos and apps, but these hardly deter from a rich experience. The Kindle and Nook are purposed designs which are somewhat crippled or limited outside their users’ market domains. They are very nicely optimized for their intended audience but are not generalists like iPads, open Androids, or TouchPads.

    Androids with open appstores require some level of system and version management for better security and enhancement. iOS rarely does so outside of updates, where it shines. In UI consistency and platform fragmentation, Apple tends to evolve its strategy along better than anyone else but Palm, whose WebOS sadly suffers from lesser performance (among other things). These subtle types of issues lead to usage friction, and friction over time tends to slowly dissipate interest in personal devices so afflicted, i.e. Symbian.

    The iOS ecosystem is associated with being stable, smooth, consumer-savvy. Functionally limited and crankily curated, yes, but it is of a piece. The other ecosystems are each obviously behind in at least one of these crucial attributes. Open Android is close to getting the first two attributes down, but I think it will be a long time before anyone approaches Apple in its chosen area of competence.

      • obarthelemy
      • 8 years ago

      I’m looking for a point to your post, especially one relevant to the artcicle ?

        • trackerben
        • 8 years ago

        Oh, ok. I was responding to the confusion here between “generalist” tablets and seller-branded channel devices. In general usage, tablets do differ a lot in important things like region denial and ecosystem viability. The capabilities of a $200 decontented iPad2 are of a different class from Kindles and Nooks and even a big drop in the latters’ pricing will not close the gap. I thought it obvious that if the objective is to get many affordable tablets into more hands, then releasing region-crippled or DRM-shaped devices like Nooks or Kindles can’t be the best answer, especially with the availability of open Android. Open Androids may be in the “viable alternatives’ category, but there’s a reason why they remain there. I added what everyone already knows, that Apple is pretty savvy at making consumers mind their product more than their own money. Doing the latter a favor isn’t as strong a strategy as doing the former, against a company like Apple.

        Of course, if one goes only by parochial pricing then everything hand-held with a touchscreen and running a browser would all be justifiably comparable. But I’m not for that type of reductionist consumerism.

    • tbone8ty
    • 8 years ago

    if the ipad 2 becomes $299…..the Kindle Fire should be given away for free + a $50 dollar gift card to amazon.com

    there is such a stark quality difference between the two.

    • marvelous
    • 8 years ago

    great idea. Apple is milking the market as it is manufacturing from China anyways.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    Asus has been the lone competitor to apple. The lone hold out for me is their closed platform. Its all to easy to get locked into something like that.

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      Asus has a closed platform that is easy to get locked into?

        • trackerben
        • 8 years ago

        Once the Transformer keyboard’s locked and shell’s closed, he’ll be trapped inside as Bugs cackles “Now I gotcha, gremlin!”.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      What a strange statement.

      ASUS, and Barnes & Noble and Microsoft and Google and Acer and HP and Samsung and…[i<]who isn't[/i<] a competitor to Apple?

    • Xenolith
    • 8 years ago

    No way. This would go against how Apple operates.

    You may be able to get a $280 Ipad 2 refurb after the Ipad 3 is released.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      You’d think, but they kept the iPhone 3GS around to have something to sell for $50.

      Something has to become the new MP3 player. Apple does not make its squillions selling $1,000+ computers. They make them just like everyone else – spamming affordable things to the masses.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    I think… oh what the hell. *slits wrists*

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    Thank you for the iPad rumor of the hour.

    • sschaem
    • 8 years ago

    ipad2 will be discounted at $399 for a week (but most of the extra inventory (Apple manage that amazingly) will first find its way into non retail programs) Apple wont have to advertise this much to completely flush inventory..
    ipad2 will be gone just like that, and we will have an ipad3 wifi for hold on.. let me put the wizard hat… $499

    Asus price its tablet at $499, Samsung at $499… Apple is under no price pressure and Apple still got the ios app store advantage.

    If Apple made a 7″ tablet, maybe I could imagine a price drop to $349.

    James Wang at Digitime got anything but sound reasoning. Quite embarrassing for him and the site to have published this.
    Most likely an ‘attention whore’ article to have links in this first new year trading day.

    • can-a-tuna
    • 8 years ago

    I could pay 200 for iPad2. It’s just a fancy toy after all.

      • trackerben
      • 8 years ago

      Citizen, that is just a toy! Now move along…

      [url<]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16403636[/url<] Canada-US border crossed by man using iPad as ID

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    Can you hook an iPad up to a 1080i television by HDMI and stream Hulu and other such video content?

      • FuturePastNow
      • 8 years ago

      [url<]http://www.tuaw.com/2011/09/01/hulu-plus-app-adds-hdmi-output-for-ipad-2/[/url<]

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      you can use airplay and play 720p with an apple tv. there is no hdmi without an additional adapter on an ipad.

    • jjj
    • 8 years ago

    Apple doesn’t do low margins,people should stop expecting Apple to behave unlike Apple.

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      They make up for it in app store, accessories and extended warrenties though. Its not like other products where once you buy it the developer wont see another penny of you.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        they also have no need to lower prices, given how well their devices sell at the current price point.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    I think it’s time to quit reporting on what DigiTimes reports. They contradict themselves and things rarely pan out.

      • Game_boy
      • 8 years ago

      Digitimes’ job is not to report fact. They report whatever the company paying for the story wants to say unofficially. Whether that be “leaked” information fake or real. They are very professional about that.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      Digitimes = a marketing propaganda tool for taiwanese companies

      • tay
      • 8 years ago

      +1 this. I got downvoted for saying this on another Digitimes rumour. AppleTV it was I think.

    • drfish
    • 8 years ago

    I doubt they’ll fragment that much. I expect a $300 iPad 2 and a $500 iPad 3 with the fancy new screen.

      • Anarchist
      • 8 years ago

      I think there will be 7″ ipad for around $200, and 10″ $400 ipad with the new fangled retina screen. In response you will likely see high-res AMOLED tablets coming out of samsung and sony at around $400~$500. If only one of these guys can add USB screen capability to one of these …

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        I like it, it’s an exact parody of DigiTimes.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        Also, if there’s a $200 iPad, I’ll have a Kindle Fire for sale. Since I’d be interested in a $200 iPad, it won’t happen.

          • kc77
          • 8 years ago

          If that happens then yes I would be all over it.

          I did get the Kindle Fire for the rents and was very impressed with the device for the money. Other than maybe the HTC Flyer which was sold out everywhere, the Kindle Fire is damn good considering it’s price point.

          Most of the other tablets scream cheap in that 200 – 300 price point, unless it’s the heavily discounted Playbook. That being said, if Apple did the 300 – 200 iPad then that would mean that Google is starting to eat into their marketshare, and the impenetrable iPad isn’t selling nearly as well as it once was. Given what I saw during the xmas shopping season I would actually believe it.

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