John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

The New iPad’s Closest Competitor? The Old iPad.

During Apple’s last earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said the iPad 2’s new lower price point was unlocking demand among price-sensitive customers. So how is it selling?

Very well, turns out.

According to new data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), the breakdown in sales of the iPad 2 and the new iPad between February and April of 2012 were roughly similar. The research firm says that since the March 16th launch date of the new iPad, that device accounted for 59 percent of total iPad sales, while the iPad 2, which costs $100 less, accounted for 41 percent.

In other words, demand for the-second generation iPad, at its reduced price, isn’t all that much less than demand for the new iPad at full price. And according to Apple, “the new iPad is on fire. We’re selling them as fast as we can make them.”

So keeping the iPad 2 around is proving to be a savvy business move, and one that’s almost certainly buttressing Apple’s already dominant share of the tablet market.

“The lower price of the iPad 2 seems to be attracting many new buyers, and bringing thriftier customers into the fold,” CIRP partner Josh Lowitz told AllThingsD. “In contrast with how customers behave when Apple launches new iPhone models, our data suggests that a lot of iPad buyers bought iPad 2s right up to and after the launch of the new iPad.”

So it’s pretty clear that the iPad 2 is commanding the attention of budget-conscious consumers. Which lends further credence to theories suggesting that it’s taking market share away from lower-priced tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire. According to the latest data from IDC, global Fire shipments dropped from 4.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 to less than 750,000 units last quarter. Meanwhile, the iPad’s share rose to 68 percent from 54.7 percent.

If the lower-priced iPad 2 is selling as well as CIRP’s data suggests, there may well be a correlation between strong demand for it and weakening demand for the Fire.

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