AppleInsider has talked to “people familiar with Apple’s plans” and has announced that Apple’s second generation iPad with the A5 processor and non-Retina display is now on death row.
The iPad 2 first became available to consumers in March 2011 and was a hit off the bat, so much so that the first-generation tablet it replaced was immediately discontinued and, even when the third-generation tablet with Retina display came along in 2012, Apple kept offering the iPad 2, although at a cheaper price.
It survived a couple more upgrades of the hardware, even the fifth generation iPad Air, which was released in October last year, living on as a legacy device in the line-up. AppleInsider suggests, however, that it is the success of the other tablet released at the same time as the Air that has had the most impact on the iPad 2 – the iPad mini with Retina display. And that’s because they are so close in cost.
The 16GB iPad 2, available in black or white, is currently still available on the Australian Apple online store for $449, whereas the iPad mini with Retina display is just $30 more at $479 in either space grey or silver.
Extras make a big difference though. The iPad mini with Retina display can go right up to $949 for the 128GB version with Wi-Fi and Cellular.
Whereas the most you could pay for an iPad 2 is $598 for the Wi-Fi plus 3G version.
AppleInsider notes that Ming-Chi Kuo, a KGI Securities analyst with a solid record in Apple predictions, signalled the end of the iPad 2 late last year, when he pointed out that Apple was only shipping around 300,000 of the tablet in that quarter.
Without breakdowns of sales of the different generation tablets, it’s difficult to gauge the exact number of iPad 2s that have been sold in the last three years. But the fact that Apple has continued to offer it, despite later versions being discontinued, implies it has been a big success for the Cupertino, California company. It sold 2.4 to 2.6 million units in its first month of release and was estimated to have shifted over 46 million units by the time the iPad 3 went on sale in March 2012.
It seems that its dream run is now finally coming to an end, though, as MacRumors notes, “There is no word yet, however, on just when Apple plans to stop selling the iPad 2 as its stocks wind down.”