Apple’s next iPad may be out as soon as this fall and will be much more expensive, come with a high-pixel-density screen, and be aimed at creative and medical professionals, according to a report from This Is My Next.
Apple is planning to release a wave of new products this fall, and among them will be the second version of the iPad to be released this year (Apple previously released the iPad 2 in March). To be called the iPad HD, this new model will feature a high-resolution 2048 x 1536 screen, double that of the current iPad 2. The iPad HD will be marketed as a pro device and come with a more expensive price tag. The current iPad 2 starts at $499. Apple will also introduce professional video- and photo-editing apps like Final Cut and Aperture designed for the iPad, claims the report.
Splitting a product line into pro and regular versions is not without precedent for Apple. Its laptops are known as the Macbook and Macbook Pro and sold at two different price levels. Apple also sells its desktop computers at two levels, the cheaper all-in-one iMac and the pricier Mac Pro. Even the iPhone, in a way, is split into two price tiers, with Apple continuing to manufacturer and sell the iPhone 3GS at a cheaper cost alongside the iPhone 4.
This move by Apple could also be simply shifting the iPad into its previously successful economies-of-scale strategy that makes products cheaper over time while keeping the newest versions on the cutting edge. In the past, Apple has released new products at premium prices and relied on affluent early adopters to bear the premium cost of ramping up manufacturing. Once materials can be gathered on a mass scale, costs are lowered. Newer models can then take advantage of the now-in-place manufacturing infrastructure to become cheaper over time.