The Android Market offers tablets that range from $100 (Archos Arnova) to $630. They offer tablets that come in all shapes, sizes and weights and that feature different processor speeds and display resolution. They even offer devices with 3D capabilities. Some say all these options will take a bite out of the iPad 3's profits before it's even released. So what should Apple to do? Make the iPad 3 cheaper?According to DigiTimes they might be considering it.
The DigiTimes reported that Apple is looking for cheaper component makers to add to its supply chain to keep the price of the iPad 3 down. Even though iPads are still dominating the market, the introduction of gadgets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Asus Eee Pad could give Apple some competition in the future.
Apple is moving production away from higher end manufacturers like Samsung for new chipset suppliers like Capella for light sensors and Novatek for handling LCD's, making some people speculate that they are looking for cheaper parts to lower cost. But rumors have the iPad 3 featuring HD, 2048 x 1536 retina display, better cameras and whatever else tech bloggers and analysts can dream of. Is it possible for Apple to offer all these state of the art features while also offering an affordable tablet?
It does seem like the pressure is on Apple to launch a bigger, better and possibly cheaper iPad soon. The next-generation iPad will need to compete with more powerful processors, better screen resolution, and whatever other gimmicks competitors can saturate the market with. But Apple's feud with Samsung could have also swayed the company's decision to move to Taiwanese suppliers, not downgrading its hardware. Maybe Apple is just looking for new manufacturers who don't "blatantly copy" their technologies and designs.
Apple offering affordable devices in the future is not a new theory, many analysts believe that they will try to expand their market share by releasing some kind of affordable iPhone in the fall. What path they decide to take remains to be seen, but I wouldn't start worrying about Apple cheapening their product yet.