It's like clockwork, really. When an updated Apple product looms on the horizon, prices for last year's model begin to plummet. The iPad 3 hasn't even been made official yet, and retailers are already taking some proactive steps to clear out inventory of its predecessor. Case in point: RadioShack. An internal company document provided to Engadget reveals that starting today, all iPad 2 models are seeing discounts between $20 and $50. The retailer's website confirms that the 16GB Wi-Fi configuration has been reduced by $20, with all other models receiving a $50 cut. Best Buy has also joined in on the fun, shaving $50 off all iPad 2 hardware this week (including the aforementioned base SKU). While Best Buy's rates are only temporary, all indications are that the new prices at RadioShack are permanent drops.

Still, we might recommend a bit more patience if you're looking for maximum savings on last year's Apple tablet. Retailers are likely to lower their asking price even further after the iPad 3's full reveal. For example, AT&T was unloading clearance 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G first-generation iPads for only $529 last March — that's $300 less than the original MSRP. You've gone this long without an iPad, after all. What's another few weeks?