Originally Posted by asdasd
Quite right. The number of people who think that last years model will be sold at $499 is astonishing. This is the model to take on the cheap Androids - at $399. They always reduce the price of last years model.
I'm not so sure. Right now, the iPad is still very competitively priced compared to the 'competition', if you can speak of competition in the first place. The only tablet on the market that reviewers have dared to pitch as a possible 'iPad competitor' has been the Galaxy Tab, and it's more expensive than the $499 iPad while having a smaller screen. This is not even taking into consideration that I have yet to hear the first person who actually bought one say something positive about it, as far as I can see the thing is a massive flop. After Samsung bragging about sales numbers (which are meaningless if they count 'units shipped' instead of 'units sold to end-users') almost every other day until they hit the magical 1 million units shipped, it has been suspiciously quiet from the Galaxy Tab front, and I'd be surprised if more than half a million people actually have one at home.
So it appears that Apple doesn't really have any real competition at all that can match the iPad on both hardware and price. Also, before the iPad was announced, many people expected it to be much more expensive than $499, the same people who are now saying it is 'too expensive' and 'overpriced' were probably the ones predicting how Apple would likely charge $1000 back then.
So, summarizing, you could speculate that now that Apple has tested the waters and found that it basically owns the tablet market, it can safely crank up the price a little bit for the iPad 2. They could keep the current model as a low-end option priced the same as the current WiFi only model, and introduce the iPad 2 at a higher price point, for example starting at $599. This would largely cover the added cost of a much more expensive screen, maybe not entirely, but with the massive profits Apple made the last few quarters, they can afford to sell the iPad 2 at much lower margins for a year or so, until the high-res screens start dropping in price.
An iPad 2 with a 2048x1536 screen and a dual-core CPU would blow everything the competition has on their roadmap out of the water, it would be Apple pulling another rabbit out of the hat no-one thought they would actually be able to, and the difference in screen quality compared to other tablets would be so obvious that everyone with eyes in their head would immediately recognize how good it is, reaffirming the market perception of being the best tablet on the market. I think it would give Apple another full year at the wheel, maintaining market share even among the millions of me-too tablets, and steadily increasing installed base to support the iOS ecosystem.
A week ago I wouldn't have ever believed the iPad 2 would have screen with double the resolution, it didn't make sense because I thought it would be cost-prohibitive, at least for now. I predicted Apple would double the resolution with the iPad 3, and keep the iPad 2 resolution at 1024x768. After all the rumors this week, I'm seriously starting to believe they will actually do it right now. I know that I'll be upgrading my iPad if they do, I don't really care about CPU speed, RAM size or something stupid like a built-in SD slot, but a 2048x1536, dayemn, I would want to have something like that