The iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 may have a lot of new hardware features going for them – including better screens and faster processors, but what’ll get holiday shoppers flocking to the Apple Stores in droves has absolutely nothing to do with how better their cameras are or how faster they load apps. Apple has revealed new iPad pricing thanks to the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 and now older iPads are steal.
Starting with the launch of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, Apple is completely shaking up its pricing on all iPads and moving its new iPads to fill in the gaps.
The iPad mini will now sit at the low-end of Apple’s offerings. It’ll cost $249 with just Wi-Fi connectivity and 16GB of storage. Behind it will be the iPad mini 2, last year’s iPad mini. The iPad mini 2 will sell for $299 with Wi-Fi and 16GB of storage.
At this point is where the new iPad mini 3 comes in. The iPad mini 3’s price is $399 for 16GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity. Perhaps the most interesting part of Apple’s new iPad mini 3 pricing is that iPad buyers can now take screen size out of the equation. Last year’s iPad Air will also cost $399 for a model with 16GB of storage and just Wi-Fi. Users who want a bigger screen can opt for last year’s device hoping to save a little money instead of upgrading. Users who really want the performance that only this year’s iPads can provide can get the iPad Air 2 for only $100 more. It’s a win for everyone evolved.
The iPad Air 2 price is $499, making it pretty expensive when compared to some other tablets, but not expensive for Apple users who’ve purchased a full-size iPad in the past. Apple’s iPad Air 2 includes a beefed up processor. Both new iPads include the TouchID fingerprint reader that first debuted in the iPhone 5s last year and is included in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus this year.
The iPad Air 2 itself has a new display technology that allowed Apple to make it the 18 percent thinner than the original iPad.
We’ll never know for sure why Apple decided to introduce such ultra low pricing for the iPad line-up. It’s entirely possible that Apple is just looking to move extra iPad units at lower costs.
I’d say it’s more likely that Apple needed to reconfigure iPad pricing because of the increased competition it’s seeing for tablets running Google’s Android operating system and possibly even Microsoft’s Windows operating system. With the iPad Air and iPad mini dominating the high-end tablet space, both companies moved aggressively into the cheap tablet space. Microsoft’s own Surface 2 devices start at $449, but Windows hardware partners are introducing 8-inch tablets that are available for around $249.99. In the next few months some Windows hardware partners are planning $99 Windows tablets. Recent earnings reports indicated that iPad growth had stalled in recent months. There’s no way cheaper pricing from rivals wasn’t to blame here.
Those who need the most modern, cooler toys are going to scratch their heads at the new pricing and then purchase the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Air 2. Normal users will likely have a different reaction, snapping up the $249.99 iPad mini in droves to get what roughly amounts to the same software experience – sans faster processors. At least, that’s what they’ve done when Apple used similar techniques to boost sales and clear inventory of older iPhones and even the ridiculously successful iPod.
These new prices should start showing up in stores immediately. Apple says pre-orders for the iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 start tomorrow.