It looks like it could be the line for the iPad 2. Because Apple’s overall vision calls for “clearer product tiers,” Cupertino will likely retire their second generation tablet once the so-called “iPad Mini” is launched next week, according to news reported by AppleInsider.

First launched in 2011, the iPad 2 is now Apple’s least expensive tablet at $399. However, that could soon change according to Rob Cihra with Evercore Partners in a note to investors. By eliminating the iPad 2, Apple is expected to “lower the barrier to entry of its iPad lineup.”

Additionally, Cihra believes that Apple will sell 26 million tablets during the all important holiday quarter, which began Oct. 1. If correct, this would be a significant increase from last year and a new record.

In 2011, Apple sold 15.43 million iPad units during the October through December period. Apple announced record iPad sales between April and June of this year of 17 million.

For the previous quarter, Cihra believes that Apple sold 27 million iPhones, 17 million iPads, 4.9 million Macs and 5.7 million iPods, resulting in revenue of $36.5 billion and earnings per share of $9.03.

Apple announces sales for the July through September quarter next Thursday, October 25.

As a reminder, AppAdvice will offer full coverage of Apple’s special event beginning at 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 23. At that time, Apple is expected to unveil the smaller tablet, a 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina display, and much more.

Source:  AppleInsider