There are rumors right now essentially across every single tech and gadget blog on the planet that Apple is preparing to release (maybe, possible, not likely,) a set of three iPad models for early in the year 2012. Let’s think for a minute about what would happen if this were true: three models, one for each segment: high-end, mid-range, and ultra-cheap – this last segment being for schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations. Apple could be set for a loss-leader power play inside the next 12 months: will they risk it?
Think about what Apple did with the iPhone 4S release and the subsequent price changes on the iPhone models: iPhone 4S is premium, iPhone 4 is for the everyman (look how that turned out), and the iPhone 3GS is free: just as long as you’re willing to pay for the data/voice plan you need to run it. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but since the context calls for it: I sort of called it nearly on the button with a column by the name of Why the iPhone 4S will be Free.
What if there’s a free iPad, just so long as you sign up for a data plan with the carrier it’s tied to? Obviously this wouldn’t work with the non-3G versions of the iPad — or since we’re so close to it now, the 4G model that’s inevitably going to come someday. A free iPad on contract: how many people would pick up such a thing? That begs the question: how many of you find it necessary to have your iPad connected to the mobile web?
If there were such a thing as a $300 iPad with no contract: perhaps one with as basic a set of specs as there could be, with no gigantic amount of storage, HD display, or mobile web, would you buy it? How about if that $300 iPad was the remaining stock Apple has set aside of the original iPad?
Chris Burns is currently head editor for SlashGear and executive editor for Android Community. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he's responsible for editorial decisions made for the USA-based day-team of SG and AC and he uses an iPad 3 as a VCR. Follow him @ t_chrisburns and inside Google+ at http://chrisburns.co/+ for tech, gadget, and design news galore.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear