There seemed to be some general surprise from many as to why the iPad is going to stay in market. Particularly since it still has the 30-pin connector. Many assumed Apple wants to be aggressive in moving their hardware base to the new Lightening connector and were thrown for a loop with this news.
This actually makes a lot of sense when you understand a few things. First, my friend Stephen Baker at NPD pointed out in a blog post today that the iPad 2 has remained a strong seller for Apple and has outsold the iPad 4 in the US (NPD only tracks US data). Interestingly, they point out that the non-retina Mini may also follow this trend and perhaps outsell the iPad Mini with Retina as well. Either way, we know for sure that Apple sells more Mini’s than full size iPads.
One other way to look at the iPad 2 and why it is still in market is for vertical markets. There are many point-of-service use cases the iPad is used for. The healthcare industry has practically standardized on the iPad. Mobile workers and field agents. Construction markets. Retail. And many more use the iPad and have developed custom software for their mobile workers. In many of these vertical use cases the person using the iPad does not necessarily need the latest and greatest. For these markets the iPad 2 makes a lot of sense.
Now, do I feel the iPad Air will be impacted this way the same way the iPad 4 was impacted by the iPad 2 staying in market? I don’t. I feel the A7 and the software that will come out showcasing its prowess may draw more people to spend up for the “future proofing” that the A7 will allow. This may be especially true in the US. There was a time where it was common knowledge that when buying a PC you should buy as much MHZ or GHZ as you could afford. Now, while I don’t believe consumers will go shopping based on these specs. There will be something psychological to the A7 and the experience it yields that I feel carry over from the old days of PC buying.
I track all these devices so we will keep our insiders informed in real-time as we know.