Devices > Connected Computing Devices Blog

Apple Deflates iPad Air Pricing and Name

by Eric Smith | Mar 24, 2017

Apple’s market share has been in decline for six years and the company has been unable to spark replacement of millions of older iPad 2 devices still being used, mostly for entertainment. Instead of a big innovation in tablet technology, Apple answered this challenge on Tuesday, March 21, with a significant price drop on the iPad Air, adding a faster processor, and changing the name back to “iPad.” Is the right approach to a declining market or is Apple just giving away profit now?

The heavier, thicker, more powerful iPad 9.7” starts at $329 
New iPad
Instead of releasing an iPad Air 3, Apple decided to drop the “Air” designation and call the new device “iPad”; a clever marketing decision because aside from the mini, one has a simple choice between a “Pro” model and a non-Pro model.

The biggest news however, was the lower price on the new iPad. The 16GB base Wi-Fi model of the iPad Air 2 was released in Q4 2014 at $499 and the price dropped to $399 in Q3 2016—the new iPad pricing is lower than both of these price points. The new iPad base Wi-Fi model starts at 32GB and is $329.

The new iPad now has an A9 processor inside, similar to the iPhone 6S and iPhone SE models, and an upgrade from the A8 chip in the iPad Air 2. This decision added 32 grams to the weight and 1.4 millimeters to the thickness of the new iPad.

Apple also took the opportunity to discontinue the iPad mini 2 after a very long product lifecycle of 13 quarters. Additionally, iPad mini 4 got another $100 price cut, just one quarter after another $100 price cut.

You can read our full analysis of the announcement and what it means for the industry in our Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies report, Apple Goes Cheaper to Rekindle Tablet Demand available now for clients.
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