One of the highlight features for the upcoming iPad, iPad 2S or 3, is the Retina Display that it'll certainly sport. So, word on the Internet now is that it'll cost more than the current iPad 2 baseline. Some are guessing that Apple will charge an additional $70. Others think it'll be $80. Me? I think it'll be a nice round figure: $100.
Now, I don't like to traffic in Apple rumors (though I enjoy reading them when they sound plausible, come from reputable sites, and does not come from DigiTimes), in this case, we can speculate about Retina Display pricing. And I reckon the new high resolution displays are difficult to make, lower yields (meaning more waste), and is not something Apple's competitors are capable of matching at this moment.
So, a premium, $70 to $100 more, isn't out of the question. Make no mistake. I'm as disappointed as you if our speculation turns out to be true. This is it leads me to believe that Apple will continue to offer the iPad 2 similar to the current configuration to take the lower price points, $350 to $400.
Still, something bugs me. What'll happen to Apple's $500 price? Will it be occupied by the iPad 2 or the newer iPad? It would make sense for Apple to have a new iPad take the $500 and lower the prices of the iPad 2.
Obviously, no one, including myself, knows what Apple will do. If this was the Macbook, I can see Apple offer new laptops with standard screens with an option to upgrade to higher resolutions as they do with the Macbook Pros. Can Apple offer the new iPads with the same iPad 2 screen, 1024x768, and for $100 more, upgrade to the Retina Display, doubling the resolutiont to 2048x1536?
It's possible. And along with the the doubling of the resolution, Apple could sweeten the deal with a better CPU with beefier graphics processing power.
What I am suggesting does complicate things a lot. Nevertheless, Apple is well into the post-PC era and the iPads represents the future of mobile computing.
Well, we'll know in a couple of weeks.
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