For the first time in a long time, DigiTimes has actually bothered to publish something that sounds semi-plausible. In a new report they are claiming that Apple will be rolling out a new 8GB iPad 2 model alongside new 16 and 32GB iPad 3 models at next week’s slated media announcement. This would be a move very similar to the tiered marketing pattern Apple uses with the iPhone line. That is, last year’s model will have stripped down storage, yet cost significantly less than the new model.
Where the report begins to break down, is in the area of storage capacity. Nowhere is a 64GB iPad 3 mentioned. Apple would not consider reducing the maximum capacity of the line to 32GB, especially considering the new iPad is expected to have a higher-resolution display that would be capable of showing higher-quality videos, which in turn, requires more storage. I would expect Apple to increase storage, not decrease it.
An argument for the reduction of storage could be made with regards to iCloud. Users certainly could store their purchases on iCloud and download them as needed, but that still seems like a step backwards to me. I suspect there is still a 64GB version on it’s way. This report simply makes no mention of it.
All said, an 8GB iPad 2 on the low end, say at $399 (a guess on my part), sounds right to me. Apple is making a push into education with their latest iBooks textbook initiative. Getting the price down on the iPad is imperative at this time, in order to get the device into more hands.