Vanilla iPad: The next, new, improved iPad 2?
Just to throw everything for a loop as we talk about new iPads, I thought I'd pitch a tangent idea. The iPad 2's continued existance is a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma. Why the full size when I can get better functionality in a smaller package with the iPad mini? Hell, you can still pick up an iPad 3 on clearance for even less and get retina, siri, etc. The take away is that Apple isn't done with non-retina iPads. Lots of people still buy them. In stores I've seen numerous people pick up the iPad that had no idea whether it was the 2 or the new unless there is a direct comparison available. The last clue is that Apple has updated every device that matters over the last few months. There is nothing in pipe for Q1 next year. What about an iPad with the new A6 processor? Also, a spec bump to the screen for better clarity and shaves another millimeter off the thickness (this is key). Siri, lightning, and cameras get a similar slight improvement. Then you have real performance on par with the iPad Gen 4 in a thinner and lighter package for $100 less. With that you get a really nicely differentiated lineup: iPad mini with A5, non-retina. iPad with A6, non-retina. iPad with retina and the A6x. Prices line up perfectly as well under that scheme as well.