Is the New iPad Too Expensive?

A recent survey from ChangeWave has shown that despite high ratings overall, the price of the iPad is still something of an issue.

It should be said at the outset that millions of consumers are fully prepared to shell out the $500+ for the Retina-bearing tablet.

Record sales in the first weekend prove that conclusively.

But this does not change the fact that many tablet owners (and some would-be tablet owners as well) would prefer it if the tablet sold for a little less.

The Price Factor

Indeed, 26% of new iPad owners surveyed by ChangeWave said that they did not like the cost of the new tablet. This was in fact the feature that users liked the least, followed by the cost of a wireless data plan for the tablet.

One of the issues iPad owners are facing is that they not only have to fork out five hundred dollars for the new iPad but also need to spend a fair amount each month to connect over 4G LTE, stream video and basically use data.

Ultimately, it seems that the cost of using the new iPad can potentially become prohibitive. Indeed, many have realized that it’s simply not cost effective to use 4G LTE. And so they connect over Wi-Fi instead.

What perhaps makes this more of an issue is the success of tablets such as the Kindle Fire and the Nook tablet, which are considerably less expensive than Apple’s iPad.

Consumers are now able to get their hands on a quality tablet for under $200.

And with many still searching for the low-cost tablets, some have speculated that Apple may be tempted to offer their own low-price alternative.

There has, for instance, been talk of an iPad mini – a device which would compete on the level of the Fire and cost about $250, according to some recent estimates.

But will Apple really reduce the price of their iPad?

There’s no doubt that they could, given the amount of profit they make from sales of their tablet. But for several reasons it seems unlikely that they will do so.

First, Apple don’t really do budget products. It’s not their thing. Consumers are familiar with (and some even like) the fact that Apple products cost more than many other gadgets.

It’s part of the appeal. True, the price of the iPad may occasion a few complaints, but as long as Apple are considered a luxury brand, a budget tablet seems unlikely.

Secondly, Apple might argue that they don’t really need to lower their prices.

As we mentioned above, the iPad is selling more now than ever. Sure, a certain proportion of price-conscious consumers will turn to the Kindle Fire or Nook tablet instead.

But as long as Apple’s sales remain strong, the chances are that they won’t be all that inclined to reduce the price of their iPad.

Thirdly, Apple might say that they already offer a mobile device at a reasonably low cost, namely their iPhone.

Gadget-owners who are not willing to spend 500 dollars on an iPad may be (and in fact are) more inclined to invest in an iPhone.

The iPhone allows users to perform many of the same functions as the iPad (e.g. surf the net, send email, play games) and costs a fair bit less.

In short, then, the cost of the iPad is undoubtedly an issue for some tablet fans – witness the number of people searching for the best price on ipad 2 slates (all of these people clearly want to save themselves some money). 

There is, therefore, clearly room for someone like Amazon to offer lower-priced tablets and make a huge number of sales in doing so.

But it seems unlikely that Apple will ever turn their ow iPad into a budget tablet. Indeed, as long as they’re selling millions of units each month, there appears to be very little chance of them reducing the cost at all.

James Keaton
James Keaton writes about all things technology. Many of his blog posts cover recent news in the tech industry, such as new gadget releases or what's going on with Apple.
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One Response to “Is the New iPad Too Expensive?”

  1. James Keaton says:

    Thanks for commenting VSD Drives – yes, the features (especially, the Retina screen) do make it rather costly. Many think it’s worth it though

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