So the iPad event has come and gone, leaving the “new” iPad for consumer consumption. Along with the new iPad, it was also announced that the iPad 2 would drop in price from $499 to $399. But does the new iPad deliver enough for the average customer to hop on board and buy one? Would the average customer even care about a Retina display as the main selling point?
The Apple Store page touts the iPad 2 is as “Still every bit as amazing. And now more affordable than ever.” But Apple may have essentially set up competition against themselves for tablet sales.
Let’s hop in our DeLorean and take a trip back to the 80s. Michael Jackson was still alive and on top of his game, New Coke was floating like a lead balloon, and Sony was losing ground with their video cassette solution, Betamax (colloquially called “Beta”).
JVC’s VHS cassettes were gaining more ground than Beta, despite the fact that Beta provided a better picture, VHS was less expensive. The general public chose affordability over quality, which is why Beta is primarily used in commercial operations.
Speed up to 88 mph to return to present day.
The release of the new iPad follows the same pricing structure as the iPad 2, and the first generation iPad. But the iPad 2 and the first iPad never had any internal competition in regard to price points.
For me, the biggest news from the iPad presentation wasn’t the specs for the new iPad, but rather that the iPad 2 would drop in price. I own an iPad (not the “new” one, the first one). No camera, no improved graphics. Getting either an iPad 2, or the new one would be a considerable upgrade. But I see myself going the iPad 2 route at $399 more than the new one at $499. Retina graphics would be great, though saving money would be even better.
And I may not be alone.
Educational institutions and different enterprises are mainly interested in buying large quantities. They’re also not looking at breaking the bank. A less expensive iPad would be just what they were waiting for.
Consider also how new iPad sales may bottleneck. Maybe the reluctant adopter will finally want to purchase an iPad, but not wait two weeks to get one. Besides, the form factor is so similar, that I doubt anyone would immediately discern a new iPad from an iPad 2 if you were to go out in public with it.
Is this Beta versus VHS all over again? Granted, the price of the new iPad hasn’t changed in regards to the previous releases, but is it different enough for the general public to jump on board?
Obviously, the die hard Apple fans have already pre-ordered their new iPads, so I’m not thinking about them. I’m thinking of your average user who may not even be aware of why we didn’t all have Beta players in our living rooms. Will they be enticed by the newness of the new iPad, or the price drop of the iPad 2 (considering they only want to buy a 16 GB model)?
Only time will tell, and it looks like our DeLorean has run out of Plutonium.
Are you, like me, in favor of saving the $100 and getting the second generation iPad, despite it not being the best? Or are the new specs worth the extra $100 to you? Disqus.