Originally Posted by SolipsismX
I don't agree with any of those price. Why would they have to drop the iPad by $200? They don't even do that for the iPhone 4. It's only $100 less than before but also comes with half the NAND, which is typically $100 less model-to-model. And why the $40 drop in price for the iPad 3 which I assume you expect to have the Retina Display no one will be able to touch? And dropped the 3G/GPS card by $29? For what reason and why not $99? That high-end price for the iPad is far too low based on what we're seeing in demand.
They seem to sell plenty of 64GB iPad 3Gs at $829 so unless they will an excessive number of components to off load or feel the competition is closing in — which I don't this happening on either count — the prices will stay where they are or potentially go a little higher for the HiDPI display has smaller yeilds or more expensive.
They don't "have to" do anything -- but there are opportunities...
Apple can set the rules of the game and still make great profits.
I think 2 things will be in play
1) economies of scale
2) ability to define the market segments -- both high and low end
The iPad 2 16 GB at $299 essentially defines the low end at:
$200 8 GB no frills Fire
$250 8 GB no frills Nook
$300 16 GB frills (cameras, real multitouch, large display, etc.) iPad
The iPad 3 defines the high end price point at $459 - $759.
The entry-level iPad 2 will be great for schools, AppleTV interaction, PersonalTV, Specialty uses in businesses interfacing customers (restaurants, POST, etc.)
I think that buys Apple another 1-2 years of market lead/domination.
This is especially important to preempt any Windows 8 ARM tablets in 2012 and Windows x86 tablets in 2013.
Edit: Another consideration... This will be Tim Cook's first "flagship" offering, and I suspect it will be a very, very good one!