iPad 3 Rumor: Next Generation iPad to Receive $80 Price Hike?

According to a chart posted on the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, the iPad 3 will cost around $80 more than the iPad 2. "The headings are labeled left to right: 'Apple iPad Model', 'iPad 2 US Price', 'iPad 3 US Price', 'iPad 3 RMB equivalent price', explained MacRumors who discovered the price comparisons. The chart lists the iPad 3 WiFi models as $80 more than the iPad 2, and $70 more for the same 3G models.

iPad 3

It's believed that Apple will keep the iPad 2 around at a lower price point to offer a cheaper alternative like they did with iPhone 3GS. The iPad 2 and accessories are already seeing price cuts from retailers like Best Buy, who is currently offering the 16GB WiFi model for $450.

Even though nothing has been officially confirmed, Apple is expected to announce the next generation iPad on March 7th, followed by a mid-March launch.

UPDATE: An anonymous source told Engadget that Best Buy is pulling the iPad 2 to make room for the iPad 3:

"Pretty much all signs point to the arrival of a new iPad in the very near future -- in fact, more specific reports have the tablet getting the official unveil next week. With that in mind, it certainly makes sense that a store like Best Buy would be taking the last gen product off its displays. The big box retailer has already reduced iPad 2 prices by a cool $50, apparently to make way for the big number 3, and now we've gotten a note from a blue shirted tipster, saddling the slate with a "Deleted" status."

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