Is Apple about to discount the iPad?

17 Nov 11

Analysts are hinting at a possible ‘pricing stimulus’ for Apple’s iPad in the lead-up to Christmas, as sales slow in response to increased competition and anticipation of an iPad 3.

As reported by Business Insider, Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope says after 18 months on the market the iPad is due for a price cut to drive its next growth phase. 

"While the rapid ramp of the iPad installed base is remarkable by any metric, it is even more remarkable when we consider the fact that is has occurred without any change in pricing or storage capacity," Shope says, adding that the iPhone had several price cuts in its first year.

One factor thought to be slowing the tablet is the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle Fire to the market - although the pricing and specs of that device are so far off those of the iPad that the two are barely comparable.

The bigger danger is probably the expectation of an upgraded model, possibly an iPad 3, early next year (the iPad launched in April 2010 and the iPad 2 in March 2011).

Apple faced this exact problem with the iPhone, and commentators are already speculating about the goodies the new iPad could have, including an HD screen, a faster processor, and integration with Siri.

Even if people aren’t interested in these features, they may hold off on purchasing a tablet as they know the prices of standard models will drop. The question is, will Apple beat them to the punch?

Do you think Apple will release an iPad 3? Are your iPad purchase plans affected? Post your comments below.

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