When it comes to product pricing, Apple doesn’t tend to shake things up often, if at all. For example, every iPhone release (aside from the original) has followed the same pricing structure with the base model checking in at $199.
Similarly, the iPad has followed the same pricing pattern over the past few years. The base model sells for $499, with incremental price increases for 3G connectivity and more storage.
But a new rumor sourced from the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, and originally discovered by MacRumors, suggests that the iPad 3 may be subject to a price hike.
One post seems to depict a price comparison between the iPad 2 and iPad 3 possibly revealing a price increase for the iPad 3. The headings are labled left to right: “Apple iPad Model”, “iPad 2 US Price”, “iPad 3 US Price”, “iPad 3 RMB equivalent price”. The final column is calculated on the exchange rate.
Again, this is all speculative and emanates from the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, but is there perhaps some validity to the notion that Apple, which loves its margins, is raising the price of the iPad 3 to account for higher BOM costs, perhaps attributable to the iPad 3’s Retina Display?
The chart above, if accurate, speaks to the base model iPad 3 selling for $579, a solid $80 more than the $499 Apple currently charges for the 16GB + WiFi iPad 2. That’s a 16% price hike which is no small thing.
We’d venture to say that Apple will only increase the entry price on the iPad 3 if it keeps the iPad 2 around. Apple isn’t trying to give competing tablets any room to breathe and the last thing Apple wants is to price itself out of a market that it currently rules with an iron fist.
With an official unveiling on track for March 7, we’ll be finding out soon enough.