AppleInsider reports on a research note from Evercore Partners analyst Robert Cihra, who suggests that Apple may discontinue the iPad 2 alongside the launch of the "iPad mini" next week in an effort to keep the company's product lineup from expanding too much.
Rob Cihra with Evercore Partners said in a note to investors this week that he sees Apple phasing out the current iPad 2, because Apple's overall vision calls for "clearer product tiers." The prediction comes as Apple is expected to lower the barrier to entry of its iPad lineup by unveiling a new, smaller iPad next Tuesday.
In a similar strategy to that used for the iPhone, Apple has continued to offer the iPad 2 since the launch of the third-generation iPad earlier this year, offering consumers a $399 entry point for its tablet family. With the introduction of the iPad mini, Apple will be able to offer the tablet experience at even lower pricing, albeit with a smaller screen, lessening the need for the company to continue offering the iPad 2.
The claim appears to be based entirely on speculation and we have heard no specific word of Apple planning to discontinue the iPad 2, so we are treating the report with skepticism unless additional information surfaces.