Of all the rumors floating around about the iPad 3, most have focused on two things: specs and release date. Very little attention has been paid to the new tablet’s price, probably because most have assumed that the price points for the iPad 3 would match those of the previous two iPads.
Now, however, it looks like that may not be the case. A recent image coming out of China suggest that Apple may be about to increase the iPad 3’s price tag by either $70 or $80 (depending on the model). The image, first published by MacRumors, comes from Weibo, China’s equivalent to Twitter, and is unverified. That being the case, take it with a generous helping of salt. Even so it may be that Apple feels a retina display and much nicer camera (among other things) merit a bump in the iPad’s price.
The image purports to show a price chart for the iPad 3. The first column shows the price of all six models of iPad 2, the second the price of the iPad 3, and the third shows the price of each model in Chinese yuan (apparently based on exchange rates from a few days ago). The wifi-only models of iPad 3 each get a price hike of $80, while the 3G model prices only go up $70.
What’s not clear from this image is whether the iPad 2 prices are included for comparison, or if those will be the prices of the iPad 2 after the iPad 3 launches. Rumors have suggested for some time that Apple would continue to produce the iPad 2 after the iPad 3’s launch, just at a reduced price. If this chart is to be believed (and that’s a big “if”), and the iPad 2 prices are not included for comparison, then the price of the iPad 2 will remain unchanged after the iPad 3’s launch.
The price of the iPad has remained constant since the launch of the original iPad in 2010. Moreover, many of the upgraded components that the iPad 3 will apparently feature are bound to be more expensive than their counterparts in the iPad 2. That being the case, a price increase is certainly possible. That said, Apple has kept the prices of new devices - iPhone, iPad, and iPods of all kinds - consistent from year to year. New generations of devices rarely come with a higher price tag, and even when they do, the price of the older generation device never remains the same.
What’s more, recent survey data suggests that a whole lot of people - including iPad, iPad 2, and Kindle Fire owners - are waiting to upgrade their device. A price increase is likely to make many of them think twice. That being the case, the odds are good that the price chart isn’t genuine. With just over a week (maybe?) until the iPad 3’s launch, we’ll find out one way or the other soon enough.
What do you think? If the price chart is genuine, would that impact your plans to buy an iPad 3? Let us know in the comments.