Black Friday Sales Will Bolster Apple Market Share
Meanwhile, Apple faces an additional problem. It's no secret that an iPad 3 is due sometime in 2012, perhaps in the spring. While Apple isn't saying much about the new device, one can safely assume that it will be thinner, lighter, have greater resolution and will probably feature a faster processor. The iPad 3, whenever it ships, will also cost the same as the iPad 2 does now. It's unclear whether Apple will keep selling the older iPad 2 as it does with older iPhones, but when the iPad 2 came out, the original iPad vanished from Apple's shelves.So Apple will have a great day on Friday. But so will Amazon and Barnes & Noble. While it's unlikely that their e-readers will be on sale, it's likely that the content for them will be. At the same time, these products are new enough that they're just now finding their customer bases, and because they are so cheap, they'll sell well in any case. The only other question is whether iPads and other tablets will sell well after Black Friday is gone. Chances are, they will. The Black Friday pricing is enough to motivate people unsure of whether they wanted to spring for the bucks to buy an iPad, but for most people, $50 isn't enough to make or break a sale. It's more along the lines of something that's nice if you can manage it, but not a deal-breaker if you can't. It'll be a nice shopping season for Apple, but the new discounts will only make it better.
The question is whether Apple's Black Friday sale will sell enough iPads to keep market share up when every other tablet maker is doing the same thing. I think the answer is that Apple will accomplish its goal for a couple of reasons. The people who are buying iPads now aren't the early adopters, and they aren't Apple fans. These people probably don't know anything about the pending iPad 3 and probably wouldn't care if they did know. These are people who want an iPad, and only an iPad will do. Saving the 50 bucks or so on Black Friday is probably enough to nudge many of them off the fence.