So after the announcements were oven and the store was back up, I went to check out the iPad section. I saw the 4th Gen iPad, the iPad Mini and the iPad 2 but no iPad 3rd Gen. Did Apple discontinue it and keep the iPad 2? If so why are they keeping the iPad 2 in production?
Answer by Griff · Oct 23, 2012 at 05:46 PM
The 3rd generation iPad has been discontinued.
The reason Apple is keeping the 2nd generation iPad in the store is due to the fact that it is much cheeper to build then the 3rd one. The 2nd gen iPad doesn't have a retina screen, which is expensive to build and implement. Because of the lower resolution, Apple also doesn't need to include a powerful GPU to drive the screen, keeping the price down even more.
The 4th generation iPad is really a minor upgrade over the 3rd one. The only thing Apple did is change the connector, upgrade the CPU somewhat (the 3rd gen iPad is just as fine right now), and add better LTE support for other countries. They really couldn't cut the price down on the 3rd one, since it's still a really good tablet.
The iPad 2 keeps the entry price for the 10 inch version low.
Answer by Thomas Crabtree · Oct 23, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Yes they have immediately discontinued the iPad 3, but you'll probably be able to buy up a few cheap ones in Apple stores or third party resellers at a discount if you get there quickly!
In order to stop people feeling bad about which version of the iPad they have because Apple upgrade them so often, or to stop people holding off buying one when they know a new one is coming out, like in recent weeks, the marketing team decided to drop the numbers, iPad 2, iPad 3 etc from the name, so now it's just a ubiquitous "iPad".
This seems to cause some confusion amongst non hardcore Apple geeks.
Any other questions feel free to ask!