|Walmart, Best Buy Cut Prices on iPad, iPad Mini|
|Joanna Stern||Apr 5, 2013, 12:23 PM|
It's looking like a good time to buy an iPad. That is if you aren't holding out for the next version of Apple's tablet.
Walmart, Best Buy and other retailers have just dropped the price on the iPad and iPad Mini. Walmart has cut the price of the 16GB iPad Mini from $329 to $299. Apple released the smaller tablet last September; it has a smaller 7.9-inch screen than the 9.7-inch iPad.
But there are discounts on that full size iPad too. Best Buy has trimmed the priceof the third-generation iPad by 30 percent. The $449 16GB tablet is now $314 and the 64GB version is $454. The third-generation iPad was released in March 2012; the fourth-generation, released in fall 2012, has the same screen and design, but a faster processor and Apple's new charging port.
Best Buy, which began selling the discounted tablets on Thursday online and in stores, is already sold out at many locations. Best Buy confirmed that some stores still have some left, but that many were out of stock. The company will not replenish the stock since the third-generation iPad is no longer being made by Apple.
Those are some good deals if you can get them, but it also raises the question of the next iPad. Some have speculated that the move to clear inventory signals that Apple might be preparing to launch the next version of its tablet. Walmart, however, says that the drop is just about providing customers with "prices they can afford." It also comes in time for Mother's Day, Father's Day and graduation season.
"Some have asked us if we think this signals the possibility of a new iPad to be released. That is not the case," a Walmart spokesperson told ABC News. "Walmart's move is due to consumer demand and our commitment to providing the best price, not potential new product introductions."
Best Buy similarly said that this was just a good offer. "At Best Buy we're always looking for ways to provide the best selection, service and value for our customers. The current offer on the iPad 3 is a great example of that and is just one of many great offers we have right now," Best Buy said in a statement.
Speculation about the next iPad release date have been varying. Some believe it would come as soon as this spring while others pin a fall launch. Some say the 9.7-inch iPad is being redesigned to look like the iPad Mini, with thinner edges. In June, Apple is expected to hold its Worldwide Developers Conference and preview the next version of iOS, the operating system for the iPad and iPhone. Apple is also reportedly ready to launch its next iPhone this summer.