Is the iPad Lineup Becoming too Hardware Fragmented?

One thing I have noticed during the last few months is how Apple continues to invest in releasing new iPad models during different times of the year and that come with different titles. The company is also making these iPads different in terms of price, size or form factor, and hardware specs.



This in turn may be good and bad for consumers. By having choices, they can really find out what they want and need for their needs at different price points. However, this also means they have to invest their time into research and in the end may purchase the iPad that wasn’t meant for them or that they could have gotten a better deal on if they really knew the market.

An example of this was Apple’s recent push with the now outdated iPad 2 hardware and the original iPad Mini hardware. In terms of refurbished products, they are still both sold at similar price points ($248 for iPad iMini vs $279 for iPad 2) and Apple continues to keep the iPad 2 as the refurbished model to get rather than put an iPad 3 or The New iPad in there as the cheaper product with the full screen. 

This confuses consumers who are on a budget because they would be smart to not listen to Apple’s marketing and purchase the iPad 2 at this price since it is the full sized iPad with the same hardware specs as the Mini. The Mini is simply the newer product that hit the shelves, but in reality both of these iPads have similar hardware specs within them.

This goes back to the question: are there too many choices and price points right now on the market available to consumers within the iPad lineup? I think the answer is yes. Even when we do not take the refurbished models into consideration, the main iPad lineup still includes the Mini as an option along with the Mini with Retina, iPad Air and the cheaper and a bit older iPad with Retina display (iPad 4).

At least it is the iPad 4 now that is being sold cheaper than the other models new, because until recently this was still the now much-outdated iPad 4 that Apple had in this bracket. 

On the main website (when not clicking on compare models) it is a bit less confusing with the latest Mini and iPad Air being displayed side by side. This was a smart move by Apple. It tells consumers to get the product they want depending on size they want or need and price. However, the market is a lot more confusing than this when venturing further into Apple’s website and really figuring out what you as the consumer want and need.


Basically, Apple may be biting themselves a bit in the foot by not offering a shoppers guide of sorts on their website that guides consumers into choosing the right tablet for them. There is still and expectancy of knowledge or research on the market involved and this gets even more confusing for consumers shopping for rival Android tablets as a potential replacement for the iPad. 



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