Hit or miss rumor site Digitimes has reported that Apple may plan on introducing a low-end iPad 2 with a starting price of around $299 after the next-generation iPad hits the market.
Sources from Apple's supply chain have claimed that there will be two versions of the new iPad, one targeting the high-end segment and the other the mid-range. Digitimes Research believe the two new iPad models will both be equipped the A6 processor with high-end model coming with a high resolution panel (2048x1536) and the mid-tier model featuring the same grade of panel as iPad 2 (1024x768).
Digitimes can be as accurate as your average coin toss, but with the Kindle Fire and other, lower-end tablets now on the market, Apple could consider doing what they've done with the iPhone for years -- keeping the previous year's model around at a reduced price to choke the air out of the budget players. iPhones come with steep carrier subsidies, however, and there's no telling if Apple could -- or would be willing to -- make even a previous year's iPad at a low enough cost to both match the budget tablet market and still keep Apple's margins where they need to be.
A reduced price iPad 2-style device does make more sense than the 7-inch iPad Digitimes has also been peddling lately.