Why is Apple still selling the iPad 2

first_imgThe big announcement regarding tablets at the Apple event today was the super thin iPad 5, which has been given the new name of iPad Air. That actually makes sense as it brings it in line with the thinnest of the MacBooks — the MacBook Air. But Apple surprised everyone by stating it will continue to offer the iPad 2, but discontinue the iPad 4. Why continue to sell the A5-powered iPad 2 when the Retina display iPad is being killed off?If we didn’t have the two iPad minis in the lineup, then the answer would be a simple one: Apple wants to offer a cheaper tablet for those who can’t afford the $500 iPad Air, while at the same time competing with cheaper 10-inch tablets from its competitors. The new iPad mini with Retina Display, though, is $399, which is the same price as the iPad 2. And the previous generation iPad mini is even cheaper at $299. Seemingly, there is no need for that iPad 2 to exist.My guess is that sticking with the iPad 2 over the iPad 4 or simply not offering a second 9.7-inch tablet at all, came down to two factors: cost and consistency. Apple typically offers a new generation alongside the old generation for its mobile products. That’s classically the case for the iPhone, the iPad, and now the iPad mini. Apple wants to continue that trend with the iPad Air, and opted for the iPad 2 as the older, cheaper option.The other factor of cost simply comes down to how much cheaper the iPad 2 must be to produce compared to the iPad 4. The iPad 2 has half the RAM, a non-Retina Display, no LTE, cheaper cameras, and a cheaper A5 chip at its heart. The profit margin for producing such a tablet compared to the year-old iPad 4 must be significant. The iPad 2 also doesn’t have the thicker body, the bigger battery, or the longer recharge times associated with the power-guzzling iPad 3 and 4.In other words, Apple is keeping the iPad 2 for those who don’t want to spend the money on the iPad Air, but who also want a full-sized 9.7-inch display. They will happily sell you one and take the extra profit they wouldn’t have made on the iPad 4. At the same time, the difference in performance and features offered on the iPad Air will make it look even better, and push many consumers to spend the extra $100. Consumers will also be thinking: why spend $400 on an old iPad when I can get that gorgeous new Retina iPad mini for the same price?Apple wants you to purchase its latest products, and by continuing to offer the 31-month-old iPad 2, it is actually gently pushing you to purchase an iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina Display instead.[Image credit: osde8info]last_img