Will Apple Introduce an Entry Level iPad For $299?


DigiTimes – the Taiwan-based publication continues to be one a roll.

They claim that according to their supply chain sources, Apple could offer three iPad models with the launch of the third generation iPad.

DigiTimes claims that Apple could offer iPad 2 Wi-Fi only model as the entry level iPad for $299, followed by a new iPad 3 which will be powered by Apple’s new A6 processor but with the same resolution as iPad 2 (1024×768), which will be available for $399 and finally a high-end iPad 3 model which will be powered by Apple’s new A6 processor but with Retina Display, which will be available for $499.

Sources from Apple’s supply chain have claimed that there will be two versions of the new iPad, one targeting the high-end segment and the other the mid-range. Digitimes Research believe the two new iPad models will both be equipped the A6 processor with high-end model coming with a high resolution panel (2048×1536) and the mid-tier model featuring the same grade of panel as iPad 2 (1024×768).

With the existing iPad 2, the Apple tablet series may cover all price segments – from entry-level to high-end. Apple’s pricing strategy for its iPad series is crucial to the tablet market. It remains to be seen at what price level Apple will set its entry-level iPad. For Wi-Fi only models, US$299, US$349 or US$399 may all be possible.

While the three model approach with the entry level model starting at just $299 sounds like a great idea especially with competition from Kindle Fire that costs $199, it doesn’t make sense from a long term point of view as it may be difficult for Apple to come up with differentiating features like the Retina Display each year and it would also end up confusion users.

However, we do think that last year’s iPad 2 at $349 or $399 price range with 8 to 16GB storage, followed by iPad 3 with Retina Display starting at $499 would make a lot of sense.

What do you think? Please share your views in the comments below.