I just ran into the most intriguing post on Mac Observer: What if Apple continues iPad 1 sales after April. When you stop to think about it, it might just make a lot of sense for Apple to do so. There seems to be no lack of people interested in buying the current generation iPad and making it available as the low cost entry point into the iPad ecosystem might just help to bury all those competitors lining up for their shot at the iPad.
After a year it can probably be argued that it costs a lot less to make the current model iPad than it did when it was introduced and it might take on the role of the iPhone 3GS which is available as a low cost entry point to the iPhone family. Apple has been doing this sort of thing with both the iPhone and the iPod Touch for the past couple of years and it makes a lot of sense for it to do so with the iPad as well.
Would a low priced iPad 1 cannibalize sales of the iPad 2? Probably not. As it turns out many people who purchased the iPad have also bought a second iPad or are just waiting for the iPad 2 in order to do so. At my home, whenever I put down the iPad there is always someone ready to pick it up. Going forward the iPad 1 might just be good enough to be the iPad you have laying around the house or which kids take to school while the grown ups carry the more powerful iPad 2s to work.
Again, this is something we’ll have to wait and see how Apple is going to play it. Be sure to check out John Martellaro’s post on Mac Observer for his views on this possibility.