Even if the next iteration of Apple’s iPad shot laser beams and can turn into a flying car, I would still settle for an iPad 2.
Why? One word: price.
I’m not an early adopter of new gizmos and gadgets. I love technology, but I don’t need — nor can I afford — the latest and greatest of everything. I use a two-year old Droid Incredible and managed to get my 2007-era MacBook to last for five years with battery and RAM upgrades.
Getting that kind of life out of my stuff makes me happy on a strangely deep level.
As a politics writer at Mashable, surrounded by technophiles, that attitude makes me something of a minority. While plenty of my colleagues bring tablets to our editorial meetings, I haven’t jumped on that bandwagon just yet.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted an iPad since the second, vastly improved version was released. I just haven’t been able to justify dropping $500 or more on a device that I didn’t need but only wanted.
It’s what economists call consumer surplus: the difference between what I’m willing to pay and what the marketplace says I ought to pay.
And the iPad’s competition, such as the $199 Kindle Fire, never did anything for me.
But with the iPad 3 now on the horizon, the iPad 2 — at a reduced price, say $299 — may suddenly become a much more affordable and attractive option.
At that point, I am no longer choosing between a tablet and a plane ticket to Europe.
If all I want is a very portable, typing-friendly device for taking notes and writing, I don’t need a retina display. If I just want to surf the web with the flick of my finger over a Wi-Fi connection at home or a local coffee joint, I don’t need 4G.
Today, a little less than a week until the rumored iPad update, I can score a new, basic iPad 2 for $450 at Best Buy or on eBay, while Apple is still charging $500. The aftermarket price for an iPad 2 should continue to plummet if a new iPad is released.
And what if Apple repeats its iPhone strategy by continuing to sell the iPad 2 at a reduced price at official Apple Stores? That will all but guarantee that I — and other price-conscious technology shoppers — will jump at the chance to finally own a great tablet at a reasonable price. And I won’t have to risk a purchase on an aftermarket auction site, either.
I can’t drop five hundred bucks on an iPad 3, even if I justify it as something I’ll use for productivity’s sake. But $299? Sign me up for that, friends.
Would you prefer to buy an iPad 2 for a reduced price? Sound off in the comments below.