The iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display are now both being sold with a $100 gift card from Target, effectively lowering their price by that amount and marking the first significant price cut from a major retailer since the latest iPad models debuted last fall. Such moves typically come at the end of a calendar quarter if they’re simply a matter of the retailer looking to boost their overall revenues for the quarterly report, but the timing of this deal points to something different. Is the iPad Air 2 release date suddenly on tap?
Apple has a history of updating its iPad lineup a year apart, with the last turnover having been last October. But it has broken that pattern in a major way once so far in iPad history, releasing the iPad 4 just half a year after the iPad 3. The sudden price deals at Target on the current iPad models could mean that Apple is about to launch the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 sooner than later. However one problem stands in the way of that, and it may be a dealbreaker for those hoping for a new iPad release date this month.
It’s unlikely that Apple will launch any new iPad or iPhone hardware until the new iOS 8 system software is compete, and it’s still at least a few more versions of developer beta testing away from being ready for release. So the notion that Apple is pushing out the iPad Air 2 release date next week isn’t realistic. In that sense the current Target price deal may simply be a random one-off occurrence. Notably, Target is not offering any such deal for the entry level iPad mini without Retina Display. Read into that what you will.