8GB iPad 2 To Launch Alongside iPad 3 Next Week [Rumor]

By

11x0302v444ipad2

Rumors have been swirling about what Apple has in store for the iPad 3 next week, but little attention has been paid to the state of the iPad 2. Will Apple discontinue its current tablet after dropping the price for a limited time? Speculation abounds.

A new report tonight claims that Apple is set to announce a 8GB iPad 2 alongside the iPad 3 at its media event on Wednesday, March 7th.

The questionably-sourced Digitimes reports:

As Apple has scheduled an event on March 7, sources from its upstream supply chain pointed out that the company is expected to launch two iPad 3 models – a 16GB version and 32GB version.

In addition to iPad 3, Apple is also expected to unveil an 8GB iPad 2, allowing the tablet PC series to cover different segments and to defend against Windows 8-based tablet PCs, the sources noted.

Anything Digitimes says needs to be taken with a gigantic pinch of salt, but there’s some plausibility to this rumor. A cheaper 8GB iPad 2 could be the device Apple needs to cut into the lower-end tablet market. With the company’s increased focus on iCloud and cloud storage, less physical storage is required to use an iPad or iPhone day to day.

Previous speculation has suggested that offering the lowest-entry variant of the iPad 2 for $399 would align with Apple’s past behavior. A 8GB version of the iPhone 4 was introduced alongside the iPhone 4S last October for $99. Will Apple continue the trend this time around, or surprise us?