Wither the iPad 2? Tuesday Apple looks like a lock to unveil the much-rumored iPad 5, a successor to the current 4th generation iPad. But where will that leave Apple's so-called value model?
A new report by Localytics shows the iPad 2, released in 2011, is the most popular iPad in use.
The latest iPad and earlier 3rd generation iPad have an 18- and 19% share of the iOS tablet market. The venerable iPad 2 at 38% is one percentage ahead of both units combined
Even the less expensive ($329) iPad mini model has only a 17% share.
Apple has a history of aggressively discontinuing even popular models to make way for new ones. That it kept the iPad 2 around after introducing the first iPad with Retina display model, was something of a surprise. When the iPad 2 was released, Apple discontinued the original iPad.
But at a lower cost of $399, Apple was able to use the iPad 2 to compete a bit more closely with lower cost competitors like Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7.
The iPad 2 has also proved to be quite popular with cash-strapped school systems as its starting price ($399) is $100 less than the current iPad.
But the iPad 2 won't run all the features available in iOS 7, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system. Apple could simply discount the current iPad, which supports all of iOS 7's features, and make it its new value tablet at the same $399 price and discontinue the iPad 2. (Stay tuned to TabTimes on Tuesday for complete coverage of Apple's announcement).
Unlike Samsung and some of its other competitors, Apple keeps a tight rein on the number of models it carries at any one time.
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What about Android tablets?
Analytics firm Localytics says it looked at data covering over 20 million unique tablet devices to figure out a global breakdown of tablet use by device and model.
On the Android side, Samsung's Galaxy tablets had a wide lead at 55% over the second most popular Android tablet, Amazon's Kindle Fire (21%).