Apple iPad Price Drop Expected If Early Sales Slow

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple is said to be prepared to make quick price cuts for its iPad tablet if sales don't take off as planned. The news comes as a survey claims the public has actually become less interested after hearing about the device, though the figures don't necessarily bear that claim out.

It's perfectly normal practice for a new gadget to be sold at a high price at first and then reduced later on. That makes commercial sense as it means the firm gets the most revenue possible from so-called "early adopters" and then drops the price to capture the mass market. In this case, however, it appears the process may be quicker than that.

Apple to be "Nimble" About Pricing

An analyst for finance firm Credit Suisse says he's been told by Apple officials that even though the iPad's initial price is relatively low by the company's standards, it's not ruling out reductions. Bill Shope said the firm will "remain nimble" on pricing, meaning it could be reduced if sales are lower than anticipated. (Source:

Shope also reported that the company isn't concerned about the possibility that the iPad could simply take customers away from either the iPhone or Apple notebooks. Officials are said to be confident that while the iPad is aimed at a mainstream audience, both the iPhone and MacBooks will have enough advantages to retain their own audiences.

Survey Makes Unfair Comparison

Meanwhile, an intriguing survey suggests potential customers are now less likely to buy the iPad after its full details were released than they were when the idea first surfaced. However, the nature of the survey means that finding may be somewhat misleading.

According to electronics site Retrevo, the proportion of people questioned who'd heard of the device but were not interested in buying one had leapt from 26% to 52% after Apple's public launch on January 27th, 2010. (Source:

However, only 48% of people questioned in the first survey had heard of the device, compared with 82% after the launch and media coverage. That suggests that a much higher proportion of the original group had a keen interest in gadgets and were thus more likely to be potential buyers.

It's also worth noting that the proportion of people who say they are definitely interested in buying the device without needing any more details has gone up from 3% before the launch to 9% now. If that's really true, Apple could expect to sell nearly 20 million iPads stateside even before working on those who say they are interested but want to learn more.

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