The iPad lineup changed dramatically this afternoon as Apple unveiled its newest tablets, the iPad mini 4 and the iPad Pro. Ranging in price from $399 to $799, respectively, these new tablets are ready to shake up the iPad family tree.
So what can you expect in terms of future iPad deals? Here's what we were able to find out.
iPad mini 4
The iPad mini 4 was an afterthought at Apple's press event this afternoon. However, this could be the iPad with the best deals if you have your heart set on one of Apple's just-announced tablets.
First Deal: Last year, it took retailers just 15 days to offer the first iPad mini 3 deal, which shaved $20 off the tablet's $399 price tag. This year we're predicting a similar trajectory with the new iPad mini 4. You can expect to see retailers take $20 off its price within two weeks of its release.
Holiday Deal: Retailers surprised us with their iPad mini 3 deals last November, cutting the price of the tablet to $300. This price was easy to find, as it was offered by Target, Best Buy, and Micro Center. So if you have the patience and want to save the most money, we suggest buying your iPad mini 4 during Black Friday week when you can expect it to hit the $300 mark.
iPad mini 2
Apple mysteriously killed the iPad mini 3 from its lineup, making the iPad mini 2 its new base model.
First Deal: With its new lower $269 price tag, the iPad mini 2 will represent one of the best values in Apple's tablet ecosystem. This summer, we saw retailers like Staples and Best Buy offering the iPad mini 2 for $230. Now that the mini 2 has a lower price tag, retailers may not be inclined to cut its price any lower, so expect deals to remain in the $230 range.
Holiday Deal: The iPad mini 2 briefly hit $199 last Black Friday, making it the cheapest iPad we've ever seen. The short-lived deal, which was offered by Staples, lasted about five hours. This holiday season we expect the iPad mini 2 to hit the same price point again. Also, since this iPad is now two years old, we expect deals at this price to be easier to find.
iPad Air 2
The iPad Air 2 could become the first iPad tablet to last over a year without being replaced.
First Deal: Like the aforementioned iPad mini, the Apple iPad Air 2 is a tremendous value purchase in that you're getting a powerful tablet for way under its original price tag. This summer, the tablet has dipped as low as $359 direct from Target. Deals are so abundant that even the 64GB model has dropped to an all-time price low of $475 (down from $599). Expect to see more deals at these or similar price points in the coming weeks.
Holiday Deal: Without an iPad Air 3, the iPad Air 2 is positioned to take on the full force of Black Friday. That means this could be the first "flagship" iPad to hit under the $359 mark (excluding the iPad mini line). The original iPad Air has been retailing for $300, so it's possible that the iPad Air 2 will hit this price point during Black Friday.
Starting at $799, this is Apple's most expensive iPad model.
First Deal: Unfortunately, chances are you won't see a deal on the iPad Pro until January 2016, if not later. In the past, retailers have been slow to discount new iPad lines. The original iPad mini, for instance, debuted in October of 2012 and didn't see its first deal until January 2013. That deal took a modest 3% off its full price.
Holiday Deal: We'd love to see an iPad Pro deal this Black Friday, but its highly unlikely since it debuts in November. Should a brave retailer like Walmart, Target, or Best Buy discount Apple's mega-tablet, you can expect it to be a very modest and short-lived deal. Your chances are greater of finding an iPad Pro bundle, where a retailer like Target might charge full price for the iPad Pro, but bundle it with a $25 or $50 gift card. (That is, assuming other stores sell the Pro at the time of debut; the mini was initially an Apple Store exclusive which put a damper on deals.)
Price Points for All Budgets
Although the market may seem over saturated with iPads, having multiple options is actually a good thing for consumers because it means you can purchase an iPad at multiple price points.
If it's value you're after, the iPad mini 2 and iPad Air 2 will offer the most bang for your buck. However, if you want a new iPad, go for the iPad mini 4, which will see more deals than the iPad Pro, the latter of which we predict won't see any significant deals until January 2016.
Which iPad are you planning to buy? What price are you hoping to see?
This article first appeared in DealNews.