It was just seven months ago when Apple announced on stage the next big thing, the new iPad 3rd generation model. Everyone rushed out to get their hands on the new device, which started at $499 for the 16GB version Wi-Fi only and went up to $899 for the 64GB with Wi-Fi and cellular. During the weekend of the launch, more than 3 million units were sold. In total Apple has sold more than 100 million iPads over a period of two and a half years.
iPad 4 comes earlier than expected
Just last week they released their 4th generation iPad, however with very little fanfare and this was drowned out by the iPad Mini, which was pricey. The iPad 4 comes with a faster processor and the new Lightning connector and has the same price tag as the new iPad.
With the iPad 3 released eight months ago its shelf life has been cut short. In fact, MacWorld reports that a recent survey has revealed that individuals who bought the 3rd generation iPad now feel cheated by Apple.
Everyone wants to know why Apple thought they had to release a new iPad so quick. The answer is that while the upgrade on it wasn’t huge, it was needed and was a strategy and technical update claims MW.
When they release a new iPad older versions tend to get discounted. However Apple have discontinued the 3rd gen iPad and you cannot get it at the Apple store. The 4th generation model is called the iPad with Retina display, even though the 3rd gen iPad had the Retina display.
Quite possibly Apple knew that their 3rd generation iPad would not have a long life. In their second quarter earnings, just after releasing the iPad, they reported that there was 2 million iPads in their channel inventory, which was below the target of four to six weeks.
Some of the difference in their third quarter sales could have been the scaling back of their inventory on the new iPad so as to prepare for the launch of the latest. This means that essentially the 3rd gen iPad never existed.
Apple wanted to get the iPad 4 out technically. The 3rd gen came with the A5X processor to power the high performance Retina display; however the 4th gen version does this better, thanks to the quad core graphics and the dual core A6X processor.
Perhaps what Apple should have done is to wait for the A6 processor. However it is hard to fault them and they have enjoyed some superb sales during the 1st and the 2nd quarters of the year. They have dominated the market and they recaptured some of the lost sales from last year.
Apple will of course have to take a hit with customers, yet they should be able to offset this by giving these customers a deal. Perhaps they could allow them to trade in their 3rd gen iPads and put the credit towards the purchase of the latest iPad or even the iPad Mini?
Apple could get away with doing this on the odd occasion, however they would not be able to do it all the time, otherwise they would have a problem as the value that people put on Apple products would be lost. Apple will not be able to launch a new iPad in March as customers would not stand for it.