Apple Will Sell Cheap iPad 2 Alongside Retina Display iPad 3 [Report]

Apple Will Sell Cheap iPad 2 Alongside Retina Display iPad 3 [Report]

Apple’s iPad 3 is expected to make its debut early this year, but it may not be the end of the much-loved iPad 2.

According to the company’s plans for display panel shipments, the iPad 2 is certainly not about to meet its demise. Instead, Apple may follow the same steps it has taken with the iPhone 4 and offer its second-generation iPad alongside the new model as a cheap $299 alternative — allowing it to compete with Amazon’s budget Kindle Fire tablet.

A report sent into DigiTimes revealing Apple’s plans for display panel shipments suggests the Retina Display for Apple’s iPad 3 will surpass production of displays for its iPad 2 during the second quarter of this year, but that suppliers will continue to ship over 25 million iPad 2 displays in 2012.

That’s a huge reduction to the 48 million panels produced in 2011, but it’s still a pretty huge number — especially for a device that might be on its way out of the door. These numbers would suggest, then, that the iPad 2 still has life left in it yet, and that it could be offered as a cheap alternative to the iPad 3 — much like the iPhone 4 is to the iPhone 4S — and an iOS-powered alternative to budget Android-powered tablets like the $199 Kindle Fire.

The iPad 3 is expected to carry the same $499 price tag as the existing model, but could even be slightly cheaper, according to some reports. In addition to its long-awaited Retina Display, the device is also expected to feature LTE connectivity, and Apple’s quad-core A6 processor.

Alongside iPad 2 panels, suppliers will ship 40 million displays for the iPad 3, according to the report, totaling 65 million iPads during 2012.

[via MacRumors]

  • Eric Handler

    Really impressed that you got the current price of an iPad 2 wrong…that takes mad editing skills….

  • Gregintosh

    A $299 model of the iPad 2 would effectively kill most Android sales, and it would pre-empt Amazon from entering the 9.7 inch or better arena with a similarly priced tablet.

    I don’t know if they will drop the price 40% though. I mean sure with phones they can cut the price in half, but that’s only because the sicker price is only a small part of what the customer pays. In reality, those price drops are less extreme.

    Example: iPhone 4 going from $199 to $99 is not a 50% cut, because the full phone actually costs $649 without subsidies. So that brings it down to $549 without subsidies. That’s just a 15% discount (even though to the naked eye it appears to be a 50% cut).

    With the iPad having no subsides, if Apple applies an iPhone-esque previous-gen 15% discount, it would put the entry level iPad 2 at $424. 

    Realistically, for the sake of having a nice rounder/more attractive number, I’d say a cut to $399 is the most we’d get. It’s still a good discount and would effectively mean Android tablets would have to be priced $299-$349 to compete.

    But with a NEW iPad 2 selling at $399, we’d likely see refurbs at $349 or maybe even $329 or something around there. Perhaps refurbs of 1st Generation iPads (as they occasionally pop up) could go to $249-$299, though at this point I’m not sure I’d buy a product that’s 2 generations out of date.

  • vistarox

    How many times are you gonna repost the same story. This is probably the second or third time I’ve read this rumour here. 

  • Gerry Doire

    A Retina Display iPAD will be something to see.

  • trex67

    The iPad 3 is expected to carry the same $399 price tag

    Oh yeah? Where can I get one at that price?

  • Dan

    Where is the disclaimer that rumors from DigiTimes are proven to be wrong far more often than they are right? I think Apple rumors are now a wholly-owned subsidiary of DigiTimes. 

    You know, I never thought I’d see the day when I tire of Apple rumors. Now that they’re reproduced as front-page news across the MSM, that day has come…

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  • Finlay MacArthur

    Don’t think so.

  • JustDl Betty

    Take your spam elsewhere there is not a site I go to that I don’t see this garbage, where are the monitors?

  • JustDl Betty

    I wish they would put RUMOR as some sites do in the title, we won’t know until the products come out will we? 

  • JustDl Betty

    One more thing, where is the $399 for the “existing model”. was this written correctly or do you know where we can get the “existing device” for $399? Please show more. 

  • travisb238

    Why you guys post idiotic “insider info” like this is beyond me. If you have a brain you know Apple won’t drop one of its top money makers 40% to $299. It will be $399 if they end up keeping it around. Apple is a luxury brand, it’s not meant to be affordable to everyone. It’s about status and Apple would never drop the entry price $200, especially since that would kill resale value as well.

  • SevanGrim

    sooooo…. rumor?

  • KillianBell

    Why not? It has dropped the price of its iPhone 4 to make it affordable; why not the iPad 2? Apple’s iPad won’t be one of “its top money makers” if it can’t compete with cheaper devices.

    It’s not all about status, and I don’t think resale values are Apple’s concern. Again, it has dropped the price of its iPhones and it continues to make Macs and iOS devices cheaper. Why wouldn’t that continue?

  • KillianBell

    My bad. As a Brit, I had British prices in my head! I’ve now amended it.

  • KillianBell

    No, that’s why we put “[Report]“

  • KillianBell

    As I said to a previous poster, I accidentally wrote the British price (as I’m a Brit), but I’ve now amended it. Sorry for the confusion.

  • zeiche

    Killian Bell, how is this a [REPORT] instead of [RUMOR]? DigiTimes sourced “Taiwan-based supply chain makers.” Did you contact them to corroborate the story? And if this turns out to be false, will you offer a retraction or correction to this story?

  • leah

    It is very possible. The iphone 4 dropped to $199 before the iphone 4s came out. With most cell phone plans, people are barely paying anything for the iphone 4s. Also I think Apple is smart to sell ipad 2 for $299. This is a competitive market.  The kindle in my opinion does not compare but for those frugle people out there Apple dropping the ipad 2 can really boost sales.

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About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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