Instead of dropping the iPad 2, which debuted in March, 2011 and doesn’t support all the features in the latest version of iOS 7, Apple discontinued the newer iPad 4 with Retina display. And even though it had become quite dated, Apple maintained the $399 price for the iPad 2 which has been a big seller to schools and other budget-challenged organizations.
There was much speculation leading up to the newer iPad’s release that Apple might discount older models further to better compete on price with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and other lower cost competitors.
Today in a surprise move, Apple has brought back the iPad 4 (officially named iPad with Retina display) as its most affordable, full-sized (9.7-inch display) iPad at $399. It was priced at $499 before it was discontinued.
“Now for $399 customers can get iPad with a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display, fast A6X chip, and 5MP iSight camera, offering a dramatic upgrade in power, performance and value compared to the iPad 2 it replaces,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Marketing.
Apple still charges a healthy premium for the cellular version – $529 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad with Retina display. Also, it's only offering a 16GB verison of the iPad with Retina display, nothing higher. The iPad Air, starting at $499, weighs a pound while the iPad with Retina display is heavier at 1.44 pounds.