New iPad rumors: Smaller iPads, 8GB iPad 2 coming later this year

Mar 1, 2012
Tech

We’re counting down the days until Apple’s March 7 announcement that will likely mark the launch of the next iteration of its iPad tablet, but the rumors are still pouring in about what we can expect. According to a pair of stories from Asian publication DigiTimes, Apple has a few options planned for iPad buyers, […]

We’re counting down the days until Apple’s March 7 announcement that will likely mark the launch of the next iteration of its iPad tablet, but the rumors are still pouring in about what we can expect.

According to a pair of stories from Asian publication DigiTimes, Apple has a few options planned for iPad buyers, both those who want to go out for the iPad 3 when it’s announced, and those who would rather opt for cheaper alternatives in the slightly dated iPad 2.

The first of two rumors notes a few things we’ve heard before: namely, that Apple intends to introduce two versions of the iPad 3. Those two iPads will be a 16GB and a 32GB model, according to DigiTimes. This isn’t really news, given that the iPad 2 comes in multiple sizes (and colors), as does the iPhone. Apple has been offering different versions of the iPad since the beginning, and each one comes with a different price tag to allow users to really get what they want out of their devices.

A cheaper version of last year’s model

What is news is that DigiTimes reports Apple intends to introduce a new version of last year’s tablet, the iPad 2. This one will have a smaller hard drive than the three iPad 2 models currently on the market, coming in at 8GB. That’ll mean the price will be lower as well, because the iPad 3 is likely to hit shelves at the traditional iPad price of $499. That makes the iPad 2 both dated and using a smaller hard drive. And that could mean a pretty significant reduction in price. The report puts it at somewhere between $349 and $399.

READ  Keepsafe Browser - Everything you Need

Speaking of reductions, there’s a second rumor about iPad iterations from DigiTimes, stating that Apple intends to roll out an iPad model with a 7.85-inch screen. That’s significantly smaller than the 10.1-inch screen the iPad currently sports (and would put the iPad in a size category the late Steve Jobs famously insulted), and would mean another price reduction, down to between $249 and $299, according to the report. DigiTimes says that iPad could be on its way to shelves in the third quarter of 2012.

Finding new iPad customers

All of these rumors make some sense given the changes to the tablet landscape that have occurred in the last few months. Lower-priced iPad 2s and 7.85-inch screens would help Apple to take on the cheaper tablets from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, respectively. These made a pretty big impact on the market this holiday season. Both tablets sport bargain prices but some pretty big reductions in power when compared the iPad, but they’re also attacking a segment of the market that no other device maker has really been able to take advantage of up to now. It makes sense that Apple wouldn’t want to cede the cheaper end of the spectrum to Amazon without a fight.

We’ve already heard that Apple plans to roll out an iPad 3 with a Retina display and, potentially, a redesign that tosses the traditional Home button. Those things make sense – we’ve been hearing about them for months – but a fleet of devices to fit the lower price ranges makes a lot of sense for Apple. Of course, it’s always best to be a little skeptical of DigiTimes’ reports, since they come from anonymous sources who claim to work in Apple’s overseas supply chains. Still, there’s a big portion of the potential tablet market that Apple isn’t reaching, and that Amazon pretty effectively tapped over the holidays. I definitely think it’s possible Apple will offer at least some kind of lower-cost iPad option in 2012.

Search for more

Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

    Home Apps Games