Apple. Always Updating.
We all know that the iPad 2 is inevitable. Rumors persist, and Apple’s history with their iDevices has taught us that with each year comes a refresh of their product line. We saw it year after year with the iPod, until it became the iPod Classic, and we’ve seen it with the iPod Touch and the iPhone as well as their desktop computers, which also undergo small aesthetic changes over their lifetime.
Somehow, The Stuff Always Sells
One thing that Apple manages to do–and this isn’t just the case with “Apple Fanboys,” it’s often the case for any gadget geek who has ever owned an iPod–is make slight changes to the design that make you want the new device just because yours suddenly looks ancient by comparison.
It’s what they’re good at, of course, because they have to sell you those devices. As has been reported in the past, iTunes is pretty much a “break-even” business. It serves as nothing more than a means of getting consumers to purchase, you guessed it: the iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch and iPad. They are basically insuring that they can continue to sell their devices to users both new and old.
So Now What?
Now you know that the iPad 2 is happening at some point. Given Apple’s track record, we’d guess the new product line would be ready to launch roughly a year after the first iteration. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the iPad 2 release date comes sometime in April or May. That’s about a year after the current iPad and gives Apple plenty of time to announce it and build the hype. The iPad 2 will probably have a camera, and added capabilities that make it tempting to users. The price will probably remain unchanged as they discontinue the old model.
Should I get an iPad Now?
We see that the iPad is popular, and it’s sure to be a hot holiday item. Now the question is, “Should I pick up an iPad for Christmas?”
We Have a Couple of Things to Keep in Mind for Those Who Are On the Fence:
1) Apple Doesn’t Often Drop Prices
One thing you quickly learn when you follow the news on Apple products is that they will rarely drop the price of a successful product line. The MacBook Air and Apple TV may be considered exceptions, but they were never really successful and they were almost complete redos of the originals. MacBooks, on the other hand, tend to stick to $999 for a base model, while MacBook Pros stay in the $1200 region. The same is often true for their iPhones and iPods. The price-point remains unchanged while the product undergoes various changes.
In a nutshell, don’t count on the old iPad being any cheaper when the iPad 2 is released, unless you buy it second-hand. Which brings us to…
2) Most iDevices Are Pretty Good at Retaining Their Value
This is a nice option, and it’s the one we often go with. Let’s say the iPad 2 has a speedier processor and a built-in camera for FaceTime chat. Let’s say this iPad 2 is thinner and lighter. Maybe the screen is even higher-res. Sounds nice, but what if you already have the current model?
The good thing is that Apple products are one of those things that seem to retain a lot of their value when you resell it. Look around Ebay for old model iPhones. Many of the iPhone 3G and 3GS models you will find still go for a pretty penny, and they are ancient by today’s standards. As we look, there is a used iPod Touch 2G 8GB with 23 bids on it going for $137.
When you think about how old that really is, $137 isn’t a bad return on your original investment. Meanwhile, other users are willing to give up a few features for a lower price. Say someone else looking for an iPad doesn’t care about making a FaceTime call or taking pictures of their friends with the iPad. They don’t mind buying the older model for $50 to $100 less if it means not paying the full $500. You make back a good chunk of your cash, and they make off with their new iPad.
3) It’s Hard to Break Out of “The Waiting Game”
Have you ever had that friend that keeps saying “I’m going to get it when the new one comes out.” Then the new one comes out and they say, “I just heard about this better thing.” When their “better thing” comes around, they say, “I heard that Apple is releasing a new one in a few months,”
Yes, we have all found ourselves waiting from time to time, but in the tech world waiting can mean you will never be satisfied with your purchase. The best thing to keep in mind is that you will never always have the latest and the greatest. Even if you do have the best model available, a new one is always at most a year down the line.
Will It Be Worth the Upgrade?
We will have to wait and see. For now, we can already be sure that the iPad 2 will feature a front-facing camera, and a much faster processor. We may even count on a Retina display. However, that’s a lot of pixels to push on a 9.7-inch screen, so we aren’t holding our breath just yet.
For now, you may just want to pick up an iPad and resell it in time for the iPad 2 release. That’s likely what we’ll be doing. If you’re the type who’d rather save your money, then take comfort in knowing that others will be selling their old iPad models on Ebay as they make back some of the money they plan to spend on the iPad 2.