Instead of usual $499, the next-generation iPad may cost $80 more. Evidence of a potential price increase has come from a recently publicized price comparison chart that emerged from China. The comparison sheet shows a Wi-Fi-only 16GB iPad selling for $579, while the 32GB and 64GB models will apparently go for $679 and $779, respectively. Although a bit less at $70 for each model, 3G-enabled tablets are also listed with a price hike.
If the reported prices are true, the increases could be prompted by higher costs required by the Retina Display the iPad 3 is anticipated to boast. Various claims have pointed toward a 2047×1536 screen for Apple’s upcoming tablet which would feature twice the resolution of the current 1024×768 iPad 2 screen.
A price hike for the third-gen iPad would be a rare move for the company, which has typically left price points for its annual iOS device updates untouched. One of the biggest surprises with the original iPad when it was unveiled in 2010 was its $499 starting price, while some analysts believed that it would sell for over $1,000.
Apple has also been speculated to keep offering its existing second-gen tablet at a lower price, just like it currently does with earlier iPhone models. According some speculations, Apple could take away sale from Amazon’s Kindle Fire priced at $199 with the help of a $399 iPad 2.
Other changes to Apple’s tablet are said to be mostly internal, with evidence of potential 4G LTE connectivity and a faster chipset having emerged in recent weeks. Looking largely the same on the outside, the iPad 3 will reportedly feature a more tapered case than its predecessor.