Looking for a good deal in the wake of Apple's new iPad Air and Mini announcements? Here is a brief guide on what to watch for.
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iPad 2 and original iPad Mini remain available. Closeout sales on remaining iPad 3s and 4s imminent

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It is commonplace for Apple to keep older models available at less expensive price points, but they have chosen to take a little different route this year. Apple is keeping the much older iPad 2 available at the same price point as this last year, with the third and fourth generation models being discontinued from the lineup. I have to assume that Apple is looking at this from a profitability standpoint, as both the iPad 3 and iPad 4 have Retina displays. I’m sure this makes them much more expensive to produce. However, I’m surprised that Apple didn’t at least cut the price of the 2 1/2 year old iPad 2 a bit. It is a weak value next to the newly designed iPad Mini at the same $399 price point.

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As for the iPad Mini, Apple went the traditional route and left the original model available, as well. However, with the new Retina model increasing in price to $399, they have only dropped the price of the older model to $299 from its original $329. So while the previous gen iPad Mini and the iPad 2 give customers a little bit of price flexibility, I can’t say that either represents much of a value. Considering how much more you get for the extra $100 in both form factors, I would personally advise anyone who asks me to pay the extra money. It’s definitely worth it.

For those who will be value shopping this holiday season, keep an eye out for closeout sales of remaining iPad 3 and iPad 4 stocks. With the new iPad Air being a significant improvement in size and weight, I would expect these prices to drop quickly, and devices to move fast. If you are looking for the best deal, but still want maximum value, this may be the way to go. It will definitely give you more bang for your buck than the iPad 2 or older iPad Mini at their current prices.

Another factor to watch for will be sale prices on the iPad 2 and older Mini at both brick and mortar and online retail outlets. Apple may not have dropped its prices much, but they usually allow more latitude for sales on older devices. This is something you may see closer to Christmas, and with a big enough drop, it could make the older iPad Mini a more attractive proposition.

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