There was a rumor going around for a while that the iPad 3 would be available later this year. Based on what we know, it was probably never meant to be a rumor. It was just a post on Daring Fireball in which Gruber was speculating on the possibilities of Apple releasing a third-gen iPad this year. After that, we read that a few places thought an iPad 3 may happen in late 2011. That's hard to believe. We're not business people by any means (well, I'm not, so I can't speak for the other folks at iSmashPhone as far as that goes). Still, it's hard to see how Apple would benefit from this.
Let us take some BS reasoning and play armchair analyst for the next 300 words or so and let you know why we think an iPad 3 in 2011 is a not happening.
1) The iPad 2 is Doing Well
Apple is selling plenty of tablets. A future iPad model may never be huge as the original simply because the first iPad was just felt like some totally new kind of device. Still, the iPad 2 is selling well, just ask Best Buy. Heck the iPad 1 still seems to be doing okay considering that it's a year old and thanks to the fact that stores are clearing out inventory. Do they even need an iPad 3 that early on?
2) Hello? iPhone 5?
At this point, the iPhone 5 is probably going to hit in September. We don't care what Cross Research says; too many good sources are saying September. Even it Apple does pull the ol' switcharoo on us all and surprise us with a reveal in June, that's three high-profile Apple products in six months: iPad 2, iPhone 5 and iPad 3. The money is in the hardware. Their tablets are doing very well with a spring release and we don't see that changing unless they decide to delay the iPad by a few months in one of the upcoming years.
3) Good Way to Tick Off Consumers
For many of us, the iPad is a costly investment. Unless $500 or more is no real expense to you, seeing a new iPad within six months of launch is a real burn for the consumer. It's something Apple may not want to try again. Remember the iPhone price drop fiasco? Early adopters were angry because they had picked up an iPhone in June for $599 (subsidized, mind you) and the device was getting a $200 price drop by September. Yeah, people weren't very happy with that. Apple did offer a $100 credit, which may not be what some consumers wanted, but there is always a risk with being an early adopter. Whether it's price, support or a number of other things. We know about that…we bought a PSPgo.
4) Holidays schmolidays, the Dang Thing Will Sell Like Crazy Whether it Launches Today or This Holiday Season
Some say that Apple wants to catch the holiday sales. Again, we're not business majors or analysts who look at numbers and sales trends. What we can say is this: Millions of people line up on day one, whether it's the end of the week in April or the first week of the holiday shopping season. Millions of people will buy the iPad on day one no matter what part of the year it releases. Then, one or two months before Christmas, millions of people will again be crowding retailers to buy an iPad. That doesn't change. Hey in fact, this may just be two huge sales spikes: one for launch and one for the holidays, and by the time the holidays come around, they can crank up the supply and know more or less how high demand will be.
Let's Ask the Readers
Let's pretend, just for right now that Apple does release the iPad 3 in September. Let's pretend the iPhone 5 isn't of any concern at that point. Would those of you who purchased an iPad 2 be annoyed, angry or just shrug and accept that technology is always changing? Would you hesitate to buy your next Apple product?