Apple Could Reduce iPad Prices Before Launch

Analysts are like submarines; they surface to say something dramatic before sinking again and this time around, it is Credit Suisse analyst Bill Shope who told the Wall Street Journal that Apple could chop the price of the iPad faster than ever before.

He succintly said that "While it remains to be seen how much traction the iPad gets initially, management noted that it will remain nimble (pricing could change if the company is not attracting as many customers as anticipated)," he outlined.

Charlie Wolf with Needham & Company added that "the $500 starting price point is low enough to attract a sizable portion of the early adopter crowd, consisting of Iphone and Ipod owners."

A survey published earlier this week by US-based consumer price comparison website Retrevo found that the portion of respondents saying they wouldn't buy the iPad actually increased after the product launch.

As our virtual teardown showed last month, Apple certainly has very little space to manoeuvre as the cost of making the iPad stands around errr....$399. In the end, it might just be a smart move by Apple to keep a product in the public eye.

A $399 is possible but would indicate that Steve Jobs and Apple are slightly concerned by the prospects of poor initial sales. It would also save Apple having to make a cut shortly after the launch which could enrage early buyers and hurt their image.

Our Comments

Apple could also just decide to yank the non 3G models and bring the prices of the 3G model in line with the WiFi-only models. Apple needs to do something quick before rivals - Windows and Android based models - swoop in.

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