Stock-outs could signal the death of Apple's iPad Air 2 ahead of expected lineup refresh

Posted:
in iPad edited February 8
Inventory of Apple's entry-level 9.7-inch iPad continues to dry up as a trio of new models are rumored to soon launch, potentially suggesting the popular iPad Air 2 will be axed for a new model with faster processor.




As can be seen in the AppleInsider Price Guide, certain popular configurations of the iPad Air 2 are not available to purchase from authorized Apple resellers. The company typically draws down inventory of products in such a fashion ahead of launching new models.

At MacMall, neither the space gray nor silver variants of the 32-gigabyte Wi-Fi-only iPad Air 2 are in stock. And on the high end, B&H lists all LTE-equipped 128-gigabyte models as "no longer available," suggesting inventory will not be replenished.

Apple itself has wait times for new orders as well: silver, gold and space gray versions of the Wi-Fi iPad Air 2 deliver no sooner than Feb. 20 for online orders. Even retail availability is slowly drying up, with some Apple stores advertising new inventory will arrive by Feb. 24.

Apple first released the iPad Air 2 in late 2014, giving it a then-top-of-the-line A8X processor. In 2017, however, it lags well behind the current iPad Pro lineup and its A9X chips, putting it as an entry-level option starting at $399.

Dwindling iPad Air 2 availability comes as Apple is expected to revamp its tablet lineup, headlined by two new iPad Pros at the high end of the lineup. It's expected that Apple will stick with 12.9 inches for the jumbo-sized model, and adopt a new form factor with a 10.5-inch display for the smaller variant.




The company is also rumored to debut a third new iPad sized at 9.7 inches, serving as a new entry-level model. Such a move could spell the end for the iPad Air 2 after a nearly two-and-a-half-year run.

Rumors claim the budget-priced 9.7-inch iPad will feature a version of the A9 chip found in the iPhone 6s.

Despite being the least powerful model, market forecasts call for the new entry-level 9.7-inch version to be the best selling option in Apple's lineup. Last quarter, the average selling price of an iPad was just $422.98, revealing that consumers prefer lower prices over more horsepower --?the 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599, while the 12.9-inch version is $799 and up.

With the iPad Pros to see upgrades and the iPad Air 2 to potentially be replaced, Apple's odd tablet out appears to be the iPad mini, which also has not been updated since 2014. Back in 2015, it was suggested that the latest iPad mini 4 could be the last update ever to the 7.9-inch form factor.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    calicali Posts: 2,820member
    The reason Apple sales were down is because Apple hasn't updated them.

    Seems all iPads next gen will be Pro models with Pencil support. A Pencil 2 would help boost adoption. I wouldn't mind seeing a 7.9 mini Pro.
    schlackadm1
  • Reply 2 of 27
    The mess that apple has made of their iPad lineup is emblematic of the organization's disarray. Apple air 1, air 2, gimme a break. Steve would not have put up with that mess. I'm going to buy a $90 kindle fire while you guys figure your shit out.
    king editor the gratebrucemcschlackentropys
  • Reply 3 of 27
    Dave CummingsDave Cummings Posts: 8unconfirmed, member
    Probably the same reason why the iPad Pro is impossible to find right now.  Updates are coming.    My only question is when?  When stock dries up, roughly how long is it typically between that,  and when they make the announcement?  Just curious
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 4 of 27
    If there are three new iPads, I predict they'll be called:
    MacBook Pro 15"
    MacBook Pro 13"
    MacBook
    Just replace MacBook with iPad.
     ;) 
  • Reply 5 of 27
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 2,527member
    joebags said:
    The mess that apple has made of their iPad lineup is emblematic of the organization's disarray. Apple air 1, air 2, gimme a break. Steve would not have put up with that mess. I'm going to buy a $90 kindle fire while you guys figure your shit out.
    I think you forgot what Steve did to the iPod lineup....pretty much the same thing. And besides...who gives a shit what Steve would have done. He's not here so what difference does it make now? Why do people keep bringing up what Steve would have done? You don't have a clue and it doesn't matter!
    edited February 8 StrangeDayszoetmbradarthekatredgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 27
    cali said:
    The reason Apple sales were down is because Apple hasn't updated them.
    Yes, but also maybe the reason Apple hasn't updated them because is because sales are down.

    Apple realised a couple of years ago that people don't upgrade iPads as often as they do iPhones. Therefore they don't need to upgrade iPads as often.

    i also would like to see a new Mini.
    schlackradarthekatadm1redgeminipa
  • Reply 7 of 27
    thedbathedba Posts: 359member
    macxpress said:
    joebags said:
    The mess that apple has made of their iPad lineup is emblematic of the organization's disarray. Apple air 1, air 2, gimme a break. Steve would not have put up with that mess. I'm going to buy a $90 kindle fire while you guys figure your shit out.
    I think you forgot what Steve did to the iPod lineup....pretty much the same thing. And besides...who gives a shit what Steve would have done. He's not here so what difference does it make now? Why do people keep bringing up what Steve would have done? You don't have a clue and it doesn't matter!
    Might as well add that the people who were handpicked by him and worked closely with him for years, have no idea what he would've done, but some random internet person hiding behind an alias does.
    dantrachtschlackStrangeDaysadm1redgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    2 1/2 years is a good run I guess.  Got an Air 2 last December and will upgrade at some point before the end of the year, after my ATT Next is paid off.  No need to rush out to get a new one.  For me at least, the Air 2 does it all. 
    mikethemartianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 27
    I just hope the entry level one is a true Air, lighter and faster than the Air 2, not gucked up with Pro stuff and extra weight that I don't need or want. I'm a context consumer, not a content creator. If Apple wants to do a favor for content creators, update the Mac Pro. 
  • Reply 10 of 27
    schlackschlack Posts: 573member
    Hope they fix that protruding camera this time around. This has kept me from upgrading. Will buy a new one if they make the camera flush with the back.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    joebags said:
    The mess that apple has made of their iPad lineup is emblematic of the organization's disarray. Apple air 1, air 2, gimme a break. Steve would not have put up with that mess. I'm going to buy a $90 kindle fire while you guys figure your shit out.
    Yeah except for the fact that Jobs used sequential number in product names too. Oops. I'm assuming from your comment that you knew him well -- how did you overlook this?

    Apple is organized fine and is doing fine. better than fine.
    watto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 12 of 27

    schlack said:
    Hope they fix that protruding camera this time around. This has kept me from upgrading. Will buy a new one if they make the camera flush with the back.
    I find that very hard to believe. 
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 13 of 27
    schlack said:
    Hope they fix that protruding camera this time around. This has kept me from upgrading. Will buy a new one if they make the camera flush with the back.
    I have the iPad Air 2.  There is no protruding camera.
    watto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 14 of 27
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,832moderator

    I wonder if/how much the IBM MobileFirst partnership will influence the intro of new iPads -- especially CPU/GPU RAM.

    I suspect a Swift 3.1 release to support the new iPads -- then a major Swift 4.0 Beta at WWDC.

    And, at some point in the near future, the ability to run Apple Pro Apps (Also 3rd-party Pro apps) and Xcode on the iPad. 

    For example, here's the AutoDesk Formit 3D Mdeling App running on an iPad Pro Apple/Pencil:




    Developers of other 3D Modeling programs, such as SketchUp, appear to be investigating porting their apps to iPad Pro.

    edited February 8
  • Reply 15 of 27
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,317member
    cali said:
    The reason Apple sales were down is because Apple hasn't updated them.
    Yes, but also maybe the reason Apple hasn't updated them because is because sales are down.

    Apple realised a couple of years ago that people don't upgrade iPads as often as they do iPhones. Therefore they don't need to upgrade iPads as often.

    i also would like to see a new Mini.
    The rumor about a 10.5 should give you pause. This would be an entirely new display with a new resolution, requiring the latest processor, probably in an "X" version. There may also be a new camera or cameras to go with it, maybe with 3D capabilities, along the lines of PrimeSense. Not to mention the sensor layers required for Force Touch and the Pencil.

    All this would be pending on the usual new-technology R&D thresholds and production ramp-up difficulties, meaning that the mass update of the iPad platform had to wait until this Spring. They are not slacking off on iPad updates. Attention spans are slacking off.
    watto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 16 of 27

    I suspect a Swift 3.1 release to support the new iPads -- then a major Swift 4.0 Beta at WWDC.

    Why do you need a new version of Swift to support new iPads?
  • Reply 17 of 27
    Probably the same reason why the iPad Pro is impossible to find right now.  Updates are coming.    My only question is when?  When stock dries up, roughly how long is it typically between that,  and when they make the announcement?  Just curious
    Can't answer your question but I hope its soon.  Mu 3rd gen iPad died in November.  I've been holding off replacing it for the next gen (early Spring?).  The wait is killing me.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 27
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,317member

    I wonder if/how much the IBM MobileFirst partnership will influence the intro of new iPads -- especially CPU/GPU RAM.

    I suspect a Swift 3.1 release to support the new iPads -- then a major Swift 4.0 Beta at WWDC.

    And, at some point in the near future, the ability to run Apple Pro Apps (Also 3rd-party Pro apps) and Xcode on the iPad. 

    For example, here's the AutoDesk Formit 3D Mdeling App running on an iPad Pro Apple/Pencil:




    Developers of other 3D Modeling programs, such as Sketch, appear to be investigating porting their apps to iPad Pro.

    Very interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing what they have in mind for the 10.5". 

    Have you used the Pencil for editing video, by the way?
  • Reply 19 of 27

    flaneur sa

    Attention spans are slacking off.
    You can almost set your clocks by the time it takes the 10, or so, thousand Mac geeks that populate the Apple forums, to start speculating (about the as yet unannounced next BIG thing) after a product announcement.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    thedba said:
    macxpress said:
    joebags said:
    The mess that apple has made of their iPad lineup is emblematic of the organization's disarray. Apple air 1, air 2, gimme a break. Steve would not have put up with that mess. I'm going to buy a $90 kindle fire while you guys figure your shit out.
    I think you forgot what Steve did to the iPod lineup....pretty much the same thing. And besides...who gives a shit what Steve would have done. He's not here so what difference does it make now? Why do people keep bringing up what Steve would have done? You don't have a clue and it doesn't matter!
    ... but some random internet person hiding behind an alias does.
    Hmm... you are right Thedba
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