Will the iPad 2’s $100 price cut affect the tablet industry?

Today Apple announced ‘the new iPad‘ – yes, that’s its name. With it came five new features and upgrades. One, a Retina display with a higher resolution than your HDTV. Two, an A5X chip. Three, a brand new 5 megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p video. Four, voice dictation (a touch of Siri). Five, 4G LTE compatibility. Not to mention, Apple threw in a couple of apps here and there.

However, the iPad 3 – excuse me – the new iPad isn’t the focus of this post. Rather, let’s take a look at its predecessor, the iPad 2. Now priced at $399, the iPad 2 just got a bit more affordable, but is it low enough to impact its “new” space? That is, cheaper tablets? And how will it continue to stack up against the Android powerhouses tablets?

To answer such a question, we have to take a look at the tablets that now dominate this space. The champion of them all, weighing in at $199, is Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Now this bad boy has been the talk of the tablet town ever since rumors surrounding its existence surfaced  half a year ago. It comes equipped with the things people would want to use a tablet for, for the most part, but excludes the ability to take pictures. It can surf the web, it’s an eReader, it plays games, and has access to Amazon’s cloud for music, movies, etc. Not to mention, it only costs about the same as the smartphone you’re probably reading this from.

However, a matchup of the Kindle Fire and iPad in terms of specs just won’t be fair. They’re not really the same thing. For one thing, the iPad is nearly twice the size of the Fire. But where they do compete is pricing. Someone who just wants a bigger mobile screen and nothing else would probably pick up the Kindle Fire before even considering the iPad unless he/she’s a fanboy. Will the $100 price cut affect such a decision? Not too much unless memory is a major factor for you. The Kindle Fire only comes with 8GB. Traditionally, you pay an additional $100 for twice the memory, right? So a 16GB Kindle Fire would probably be priced at or around $299. The iPad is only an extra $100. It seems like the iPad is a lot “closer” now to directly competing with the Kindle Fire’s of the world.

I think it’s safe to say that the iPad 2’s price drop may or may not affect potential Kindle Fire buyers, unless they were considering it in the first place. As for the other crappy $199 tablets? Yeah, your time is running out. Once refurbished iPad 2’s hit the Apple Store…

The Never Ending Battle: iOS vs. Android

Finally, let’s throw the – now under fireGalaxy Tab 10.1 into the foray. It’s pricing starts at $399.95, which already is $0.95 more than the iPad 2 (pennies add up). It has a beautiful design, but that’s about it. So without going to0 in-depth in this one, we’ll give the upper hand to the iPad 2.

Now, this wasn’t a long editorial, comparison, or in-depth analysis. It was just mere common sense. With a cheaper price tag and still powerful technology, the iPad 2 will definitely be a contender to cheaper tablet consumers. There are many $199 and $299 tablets out there. However, I’m sure that some folks won’t mind throwing in an extra $100 and some change to sport the Apple logo and make music in GarageBand. That is, if they don’t hate Apple.

What do you think? How do you think the iPad 2 will stack up? Will the lower price point encourage general consumers to purchase an Apple tablet over a PlayBook or GalaxyTab? We’re thinking it will.

Jared is a web designer with a passion for writing. Co-founded, The Industry & Evomail. Editor at teamtreehouse.com.