Whenever third-party retailers start selling an Apple device at a discounted price, it’s usually a good indication that the next product iteration is on the near horizon. While this isn’t always the case, it’s a historic trend that points towards something new from Apple.
Based on recent price cuts from big retailers and the rumor mill, it looks like the iPad will be getting a refresh soon.
Fortune notes that, “On Wednesday, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and MacMall initiated clearance sales, reducing their 3rd-generation iPad and current iPad mini prices roughly 30% across the board.” Best Buy’s killer deal means that you can buy a 16GB 10-inch iPad with Retina display for less money than it costs to buy an entry-level iPad mini. That’s pretty sweet.
Why the sudden price drops? When retailers know—or think they know—about an impending product update, they usually start getting rid of their current inventory to make room for the new goods. How do you get rid of soon-to-be-outdated gear? Cut prices! This happened before the iPhone 5 last year, for example.
The rumor mill recently suggested an April iPad event. The fourth-gen Retina iPad just came out around the holidays, so an event this month means that Apple will have moved to a six-month release schedule. The iPad 5 is expected to be thinner, more powerful, and look a lot like the iPad mini.