While traveling home with a friend for Thanksgiving, she mentioned how she went into a Verizon store set on picking up an iPhone and left with a shiny new Android. As far she could tell, it was close enough to an iPhone, and more importantly, noticeably cheaper.
Indeed, say what you will about Android, but Google has done a great job of increasing Android’s marketshare in a relatively small amount of time. Suffice it to say, Apple is working hard to ensure that their lead in the tablet market remains as large as it is today and a key component of that strategy is to offer the iPad at varying pricepoints. After all, if iPad wannabes can’t compete with Apple on price (because they sure as hell can’t compete on features and usability), Android will have absolutely no chance of doing to the iPad what it did to the iPhone.
With that in mind, Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes wrote in a note to investors that Apple may introduce two brand new iPad models this Spring. One would be the rumored iPad 3 with a Retina Display and the other would be a lower-priced iPad 2 model perhaps dubbed the iPad 2S. Failing that, Reitzes says Apple may follow suit its iPhone 3GS strategy and sell the current iPad 2 at a much cheaper pricepoint alongside a regularly priced iPad 3.
Previous reports have indicated an iPad launch to fall somewhere in April, but Reitzes anticipates a new product launch could occur as early as March.