Originally Posted by mde24
Think back to when the original iPhone was released. It was hideously expensive and fairly lacking in features - in fact only the diehard Apple fans bought it. They were the people who knew they were paying $200 over the odds and were happy to do so in order to get the iPhone first. These people - call them fanboys if you like - are probably the most forgiving of Apple customers when it comes to new products so Apple could use them as testers. In those few months Apple fixed a load of bugs, looked at how people were really using it and what features were really missing. In addition to all this, because they haven't sold too many if anything truly catastrophic turns up they can do a recall without too much expense or bad publicity.
A few months after launch, Apple have worked out that the hardware is OK, they've fixed a big pile of bugs, dropped the price by $200 and are well on the way to designing hardware revision B (the iPhone 3G). To keep the early adopters happy they give them a $100 iTunes voucher.
A year after the release of the first iPhone comes the iPhone 3G. It has many missing features: note that these are the features people who used the iPhone said were missing rather than some tech pundits who had never touched one.
Fast forward to the iPad...
We have a minimal feature set in a new form factor. Apple will sell enough to make it viable because they have a sufficient fan base who will buy anything new and shiny that they put out but not so many that it becomes expensive/embarrassing in the event of a recall. Between March and September (or thereabouts), Apple will gain plenty of usage information from them and gain valuable insights into what is required by real users in hardware revision B, then - providing everything is looking good - they will release some bug fixes, drop the price ($399 for the wifi-only and $499 for the 3G look like good figures), and start to leverage scale efficiencies in the manufacturing process.
Come Spring 2011 we will get the iPad 2 which will gain the killer features missing in the original iPad. Regular customers like me know this and will hold out, just as I did for the iPhone 3G. Apple know that we know this and it is exactly what they want as they don't want their mainstream customers using (and complaining about) slightly buggy first generation products with missing features.
I, and my family, held out until the3G came out, because there were two features we really wanted, which Jobs had made clear were coming, though he didn't say when. 3G and Apple supported third party apps. GPS was a bonus that I wanted, but wasn't going to prevent the sale if it wasn't present.
At this point in time, I feel as though the iPad, out of the box is viable with what it has. A front mounted camera would be nice, but not required. I've done video conferencing a couple of times with my daughter overseas, and a half dozen times with a friend who I do work with in photography, just to test it out and see if it was useful in that context (it wasn't). But, otherwise, I haven't bothered. I suspect that far more people will be like me in this regard than those who really want this feature. If we will be able to connect a third party video camera, then that will be fine. If they do put a camera in, that will be fine too. Otherwise, not such a big deal, though the tech writers, whom I will bet don't videoconference any more than anyone else, seem to be so sorry it's not there.
Also, people should not forget that the reason why Apple was able to lower the price drastically shortly after the phone came out, was because they were already in negotiations with AT&T to offer the two year contract with its lower phone pricing (as we now know). They didn't lose much therefor. And, what is the unsubsidized iPhone price today overseas where they are being offered? Pretty high.
The iPad, right now at least, isn't being offered with a subsidized contract, so there's really nowhere to go with pricing. At least, not in such a substantial amount, which was from $600 to $400 until the contracts were announced.
We have no idea if Apple is intending to go that route, though it seems doubtful, considering how the iPad is constructed. So, maybe, according to rumors, and that's all they are right now, Apple MAY lower the price a bit if it isn't selling up to their projections. But that's just speculation, and it isn't even out yet. I don't know how you derived those numbers which, I presume, you have no knowledge of the viability of same. In other words, you're just making numbers up, and assuming that because you made them up that they are good.
I notice that in your post, you make no mention of a single feature that you would be waiting for. Exactly what, other than lowering prices, would Apple have to do to make you want to buy this?