You really can't say that, unless of course you work for Apple. My point is that there are good sound reasons for Apple to expand the iPad line up.
You do realize that businesses have plans don't you? Here is a quick hypothetical plan.
- Apple wants to actually be successful with the iCloud launch and part of that success depends upon low cost hardware.
- So the current iPad becomes the low end model. Possibly at a significantly reduced price.
- IPad three debuts to support iCloud as a high end tablet connection.
The success of iCloud is not a given, but I suspect one key component will be access from lower cost devices to drive wide spread adoption. However I believe many will see a higher end device as a better fit for their needs. In other words the current iPad becomes a low cost or corporate device. So iPad 3 could have been planned to help drive the iCloud strategy. The point is what Apple is actually thinking is not often obvious to the outside world and there are so many possibilities we could have a whole thread just guessing at stradegys.
If Apple can't build iPads fast enough, please explain the need for a price drop to get more folks interested in buying one. Apple has never been and never will be about putting out ridiculously inexpensive products. In all the time that laptops nosedived down into the ridiculously cheap $300 range, Apple never went there.
Apple has no intention, I suspect, of pursuing the absolute bottom end of the tablet market. That's where all the others are headed as they did with the MP3 market. By protecting the image of Apple as a manufacturer of quality products, Apple ensures future success. This is not to suggest that Apple would never adjust pricing but consider that there is a stability to Apple pricing that is not so evident with the competition. The iPod line has been hovering in the same range for years. Ditto Apple's laptops. Ditto the Mac Mini.
When Apple finds a price point that works, it tends to alter specs instead of price. The Air replaces the Macbook, that sort of thing. I would have to say that in the case of the $500 tablet price point Apple has it right. Sure competitors are starting to slash prices but that's only going to make it worse for them because if someone buys a tablet from those other guys everybody will know that said consumer was too cheap to go for the real thing, i.e. an iPad.
As well, it's not likely that Apple will lower the price of the iPad to the point where it will compete with the iPod products.
If I think that we will not see a rush to replace the current, wildly successful iPad it's because that's not how it played out in the media player/portable gaming space. In that space, competitors scrambled to outdo the iPod and yet Apple never panicked, annually upping the ante and leaving the competition way behind.
The way I see this going is as follows. The iPad is more than competitive and will stay that way with no changes for the upcoming Christmas season. Early next year a new iPad will be introduced that raises the bar yet again and the competition will be utterly crushed.
As for needing volume sales to sustain iCloud, surely you jest. The iPad is selling in the millions and unless I'm mistaken, there are a few iPhones in use today. Millions of Airs, Macbooks, mac minis, iPods. Apple does have a few customers who would be using iCloud, myself included.
There is another point I'd like to make. Apple has a number of products that it's juggling. By choosing to bring out new versions of those products at different times, it makes life easier. So not everything Apple makes gets an overhaul weeks before the Christmas buying season. The iPad appears to be getting its refresh every spring, the computers throughout the spring/summer, the iPods in the fall and this time, evidently, the iPhone along with the iPods, though traditionally it has been June. In addition to it being about managing product launches, by spreading out product launches Apple winds up with free PR year-round.
I suspect that the real reason we are seeing repeated attempts to suggest a new iPad is imminent is to slow iPad momentum. If consumers hold off on an iPad purchase hoping for an upgrade soon, Apple's dominance of the tablet market would not seem so resounding. It hasn't worked, has it.