What Were 15.4 Million Apple Fans Thinking?

No one should be surprised by Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) blowout quarter last night.

Save for a rare moment of mortality three months ago, the world's most valuable tech company routinely blows Wall Street's targets away. The 37 million iPhones sold during the period far exceeded market expectations, but is that really such a surprise? Folks were waiting more than a year to get their hands on the next generation of Apple's iconic smartphone. In this country alone there are now three times as many wireless carriers supporting the device than there were during the previous iPhone 4 launch.

However, then we get to the 15.4 million iPad 2 units that Apple cleared during the holiday quarter. This is the figure that is really stunning the market.

That's a sucker punch to the gut of every Apple cynic. The flying fist came out of nowhere.

Take two tablets and call me in the morning
Analysts were actually scaling back their iPad projections in recent weeks. Morgan Keegan's Tavis McCourt hosed down his iPad target -- from 16 million down to 13 million -- earlier this month. Last month it was Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu moving from 15 million iPads to a mere 13.5 million units. Their channel checks told them that momentum was slowing for these magical gadgets.

Once again, Apple makes the pros -- and skeptics like me -- look stupid.

It was difficult to see Apple moving so many tablets when Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) Kindle Fire was doing what no other competitor had done in this niche by actually selling "millions" of its entry-level $199 devices. Adding to the bargain-basement pricing, Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) was dumping PlayBook tablets for as little as $199. Even its high-end 64-gigabyte model is selling at a $400 discount to its original price tag these days. It was also during this time that Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) cleared out its inventory of webOS-fueled TouchPads for as little as $99 apiece.

Given all of this markdown madness, you have to wonder what the 15.4 million buyers of iPads at $499 or higher were thinking. It was a buyer's market for tablets, yet they went ahead and paid retail.

Buy different
Now, before Apple fans argue that an iPad 2 is unlike any other tablet -- something that I largely agree with -- let's get into other reasons that buying an iPad 2 this past quarter was a dumb idea.

Apple released the original iPad in April 2010. The iPad 2 followed just 10 months later. Obviously, the iPad 3 wasn't going to hit the market 10 months after that. We'd be talking about a launch in December, smack dab in the middle of the holiday shopping season. However, Apple's brief history with iPads -- and slightly longer history with iPhones -- shows us that Apple rolls out updates of superior gadgets at the previous price points on a roughly annual basis.

If the iPad 3 rolls out sometime between February and April of this year -- at the same price of an iPad 2 --  why rush into an iPad 2 purchase just months or weeks before it's obsolete?

The Apple-rati will argue that Santa couldn't leave IOUs in Christmas stockings. Do you think maybe they could have been bribed on that end? Many analysts believe that Apple will take a page out of the iPhone playbook when the third generation of the iPad rolls out in the coming weeks. Instead of retiring the iPad 2 when the better iPad 3 hits the market, Apple will just shave $100 or so off the iPad 2.

The move makes sense, especially as Apple makes its push to be the tablet of choice for classrooms. The iPad 2 at $299 or the more likely $399 price point would help it crush the Kindle Fire before it gains more traction. Why would 15.4 million people buy an iPad 2 that they could have gotten for substantially less if they had waited?

Then again, the analysts predicting that Apple will cut iPad prices later this year are the same ones that blew it when they were talking down iPad 2 sales.

Still, would it have hurt these 15.4 million new iPad 2 owners to wait a couple of months for either a better price on their own gadget or at the very least a chance to spend the same amount on something better?

I'm not asking iPad buyers to "think different" as much as "think," period.

The next trillion-dollar revolution will be in mobile gadgetry, but the best investing play isn't necessarily Apple. If you want to cash in on the upcoming trend, a new report will get you up to speed. Yes, it's as free as this article, but it won't last forever, so check it out now.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Amazon.com and Apple, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for HP. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.


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  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 9:56 AM, glenroe wrote:

    Completely rational.

    I bought a ipad 2 for Christmas. Probably there will be a new ipad in April, maybe it will be easier to find in May or June, if the price drops $100, then I've paid about $20 a month to use the ipad2 for about 5 months.

    We'll probably add a new ipad to the family this year anyway, since our 7 year old is using the current one for working on some education websites sponsored by the public school system here. She is also ace'ing her spelling tests with the help of a practice spelling app.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 10:02 AM, jdmeck wrote:

    That's a rather lame argument. There will always be something better around the corner. I for one don't intend to keep waiting for the next big thing when there is one right in front of me.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 10:17 AM, AppBull wrote:

    It is quite a stretch to tell someone, "Hey, you can have your iPad now for Christmas, or I can give you this nice, crisp sheet of paper saying I OWE you an even better or cheaper iPad in three to four months. Which do you choose?"

    Let me rephrase it: "Hey, you can sit around miserable for three or four months watching your friends play with their new iPads, but it will ALLLL be worth it cuz you can gloat about your newer and shinier iPad after that."

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 10:18 AM, chadscards1274 wrote:

    Rick, I think you're also missing the point that the last quarter is a 3 month period. There are buyers of iPad 2s that bought them well enough before Christmas. So the question I had to ask (when I bought mine in late October) is do I want to wait until next March to be able to order one and likely wait until April until I actually have it? No - I bought the iPad 2 because I wanted it for trips that we took in November, December, and January. The fact that an iPad 3 might be out in March doesn't play well if you are using the device 3-4 months before. In addition I would bet that Apple does not drop the price but instead keeps the same price and raises the specs. The iPhone is a different animal because most of what Apple receives is subsidized by the carrier. This does not happen with an iPad, thus Apple has to keep the price somewhere that they can make a good margin on each sale.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 10:19 AM, respect4earth wrote:

    iPad 2 $500.00

    Case for iPad $50.00

    a few educational apps $20.00

    Watching my daughter open her gift

    PRICELESS!

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 10:19 AM, etgh wrote:

    Apple is becoming the de-facto technology company for the planet. Not because their products are perfect, their not, but because of their ability to control consumer thinking.

    They have become masters at setting the market's needs and then filling them, a classic market control strategy. One has to admire and tip the hat to a company that executes this well.

    However, there is a dark side to all of this. Apple is notoriously closed about it's technology and eco-system. They also appear to be active in influencing media to borderline criminal levels. Do you think ALL their products deserve the rave reviews they get ?

    In any case, they are a great company but I worry about the aggressive anti-competitive path they are on.

    Wouldn't you like to have more choice of product to purchase in the future ?

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 10:39 AM, Emperor2 wrote:

    GREAT ARTICLE. I'm never going to buy anything new again as there will always be something better coming along in the future. Boy, this great article will really save me money.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 11:09 AM, thedataferret wrote:

    Yes yes yes

    I should have taken the money that I spent on the new iPad !! and bought Apple shares......

    Oh, I already did that! Now I can afford to buy the new "iPhone 4s", "iPad infinity", MacBookPro and the 32" iMac whenever.

    Better than getting a pack of Dentyne.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 11:18 AM, jafutral wrote:

    I always tell people that the time to buy technology is when you think you need (or even want it badly enough) it. There will ALWAYS be faster/better/cheaper in a few weeks. If you wait for that, you will always be waiting.

    Anyway, the tablet market condition is a lot like the housing market. There are a lot of good deals to be had in foreclosures, but be prepared to have to do a lot of work to get it where you want it.

    Or you can spend more and get a move-in ready house. Both moves are valid, but there is a lot to be said about not needing to worry too much about fixing something up just to be able to sleep in it or how the renovations will turn out in a market that doesn't have a lot of forgiveness in it right now for mistakes.

    A typical non-Apple tablet could well be a wise investment... down the road. But if you need someplace to live in and enjoy right now, there aren't a lot of options out there.

    Joe

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 12:12 PM, daveraj wrote:

    I'd go so far as saying Apple could charge 599 for the Ipad 3 while holding firm at 499 on the Ipad 2, and still have the 2 top selling tablets. Android and Windows is still a couple years off in the tablet space to be a serious alternative. But what do I know? I'm writing this on my Playbook ;)

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 12:36 PM, melegross wrote:

    It's not dumb. It's a pretty smart thing to do to buy the tablet now. It would be dumb to buy one a week before the new one comes out. I suppose people aren't supposed to buy a product months before the new one is available. Yeah, that will turn the wheels of commerce.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 1:51 PM, jbelkin wrote:

    That's what analysts keep equating apple with other tech companies. They simply build the best hardware, offer the most secure software and the best user experience. Because of that, users can easily give it to another amily member or resell it. Yes, if a new one is announced orit seems eminent, then wait but otherwise, if you want to use a device, buy an apple device. I still happily use myipad, I might consider buying an iPad 3 when it comes out but no worries, it works great and free OS upgrades unlike every other manufacturer who releases a new spec machine every 4 weeks and obsoletes the older one and acts as if they never even released it. And everyone sold is basically an apple customer for life.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 5:18 PM, kgelner wrote:

    The thing so many technology journalists and pundits overlook is how well Apple supports older equipment.

    It doesn't matter to most people if they buy an iPad 2 or or an iPad 3 later, because the iPad 2 is still going to work almost as well for quite some time.

    You can never be sure when another device might come out so millions opted for a sure thing now, that will provide many years of excellent value... I simply can't find that irrational.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 5:29 PM, adammiarka wrote:

    Why does Apple make the "pros" and skeptics look bad? Maybe you all just suck at realizing the actual market.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 5:31 PM, baleful wrote:

    Whenever I read the inevitable return of this line of thinking, I like to post this link:

    http://www.apple.com/hotnews/openiphoneletter/

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 5:42 PM, Badobson wrote:

    I very much enjoyed reading this article. I'll be sure to let my father know that you think he's stupid for buying my mother an iPad 2 for Christmas.

    I'll be certain to let her know that she's stupid for having accepted it. Sure it looks like she's very much enjoying it but clearly she should not be.

    This is horrible, horrible journalism at its core. A link bait article written to drive hits. For shame.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 5:46 PM, FartlyMule wrote:

    The same argument can be made about any Christmas gift, specially electronics.

    So while you declare: "Apple makes the pros -- and skeptics like me -- look stupid" your doing yourself a disservice blaming Apple, your doing a fine job on your own.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 5:54 PM, trrll wrote:

    If you are going to give an iPad for Christmas, it's not a choice between December or March (or whenever); it's a choice between this December and next December. And guess what? There will still be an iPad around the corner then. How clever an analyst do you have to be to figure that one out?

    Thinking the Amazon Fire (or even more ridiculously, the discontinued failed pads with no future being dumped onto the market) would cut into Apple's sales in a major way is equally absurd. If all you want from a pad is what the Fire can offer, you wouldn't be willing to pay Apple's price in the first place. On the other hand, I expect that there are quite a few people who got a Fire for Christmas, discovered that a pad is more handy than they expected, and are now lusting for the features of an iPad.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 6:02 PM, thomwong wrote:

    So your assessment isn't wrong, it's the consumer that is wrong.

    Think that through for a second and explain to me why you're an analyst.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 6:11 PM, ruioliveira wrote:

    I have a question (I reckon I'm a bit slow today): do you get paid to write this stuff? Wow! Does motley fool need someone to write about Quantic Physics? I know jack about the stuff (well, I have heard about a guy name Schroedinger) so I must be more than qualified.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 6:12 PM, Tim1T wrote:

    Rick is just repeating a variation of the Apple putdown used by so many tech commentators -- Apple customers are stupid, Apple customers are sheep, mindless fanboys, etc.

    The idea is that anyone who prefers an Apple product must be stupid or delusional. After all this phone or that tablet have better specs! It's more "open." Don't they get it???

    But the tech "experts" don't get one of the first rules of business, that you don't blame the customer for knowing what they want from a product.

    Folks like Rick always misjudge Apple because they don't realize that this company has been delivering usability and quality for decades. You can always find a product with one or two features that are faster than what Apple delivers. But the Apple product will always deliver the best total experience for a big chunk of users.

    Other customers respond to Android or MS products. And that's OK too. But lets not fool ourselves thinking that all those users don't know what they want from a phone or a tablet.

    And please, stop calling customers stupid for not having the same priorities as you.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 6:49 PM, Magoo1mill wrote:

    Confirmation bias – the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 6:53 PM, beetlebug62 wrote:

    Next thing you know Rick will write an article saying if those 15.4M people had bought an Apple share instead, in 20 years they'll have $10,000, so why buy an iPad now, it's an opportunity cost!

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 7:03 PM, qbf wrote:

    The thing you people don't seem to understand is that it is not just "Apple fans" buying these things. It's ordinary people who have the impression that the current-generation iPad is good enough to do what they need right now. People who approach the product the same way they would a washing machine or a vacuum cleaner. These are not tech-obsessed fetishists; they're professors, lawyers, doctors, and grandmothers.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 7:26 PM, gmc0652 wrote:

    What's an I-Pad

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 7:31 PM, brucebtb wrote:

    Rick - How long have you been around? Assumed that you were at least a few years out of your teens!

    The tech world has always worked this way. If everyone waited to buy because there was a better product around the corner the PC industry would have collapsed in the mid-80s. Actually in the last few years, the PC industry has matured and there's less reason to upgrade as often, but with smart phones and tablets things are still moving fast enough that your new shiny will always be out of date in a few months. That's life and most consumers shrug and deal. The geeks and fan boys upgrade every cycle, the average consumer upgrades every 2 or 3 rounds.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 7:33 PM, WaltFrench wrote:

    Well, I know what at least *ONE* customer, my wife, was thinking. And she turned out to be right! Just in the last couple of days, …

    * We video-Skyped our daughter and her father (halfway around the globe) from the kitchen table, where it's convenient.

    * She read the NYT every AM as part of her morning routine, and either a Kindle or iBooks book at bedtime.

    * She likes the New Yorker better on the iPad; tosses the dead trees version my way.

    * She LOVES her Chinese-English dictionary for her class (the handwriting recognition especially). Takes it for a study break between her volunteer work.

    * She's learned how to use that TV gizmo I got for her desktop a couple of years back, and timeshifted/watched Downton Abbey on the iPad, versus finding a desk the wrong place for a TV.

    * She decided she'll use the Khan Academy to learn the Econ that she never got comfy with back at Stanford, and has gone thru a few lessons.

    * Showed off our last trip's photos at dinner with friends.

    * And a whole lot of other things that you just can't or wouldn't do on a PC or my laptop.

    The new form factor enables NEW USES. People who want a tablet as a substitute PC will be disappointed (maybe, deeply), but people who try out new things just might be thrilled, as she is.

    Get it? It's NOT a PC! It's even a MORE rapidly changing, dynamic product category!

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 7:45 PM, ayaghsizian wrote:

    I agree with all the comments.

    I'd like to add that even 2 year old original iPads still work great. And an iPad 2 will work great a few years from now.

    Buy an iPad 2 now...enjoy for a few years...buy an iPad 6 down the road.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 7:47 PM, WaltFrench wrote:

    “The iPad 2 at $299 or the more likely $399 price point would help it crush the Kindle Fire before it gains more traction.”

    Have you EVER seen Apple act this way?

    Did they cut the iPhone price in half because of all the Android gadgets?

    Yes, Apple has struck remarkable price levels with its new products, so that competitors have a hard time coming in second, with a less polished product, and no profit opportunity; that's been good business for them. But because of that, they don't need to get into the bargain bin business.

    (See today's JC Penney news by an ex-Apple exec, who swore off all the bogus 50% OFF!!! “sales” of low-quality merchandise. Hope it works for them, too.)

    You apparently can read a quarterly earnings release, but you apparently haven't connected the dots like Pew did: approximately 20% of American adults now own a tablet (mostly, an iPad), and Apple is mostly constrained by how quickly they can make them. These are very quickly turning into an “everybody should have one” item because they really are THAT good.

    Especially in comparison to the competition, at least so far. Good luck to the Acers and Amazons in establishing a brand name when you won't have generated any cash to re-invest in quality product, support, application development, future software.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 7:49 PM, ayaghsizian wrote:

    Breaking news:

    iPad 4 coming out in 15 months! Don't buy iPad 3 this March or April.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 8:07 PM, gsagi wrote:

    lame thinking and Gruber called you on it—fame I guess...

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 9:02 PM, dpurp wrote:

    "Once again, Apple makes the pros -- and skeptics like me -- look stupid."

    ^ Realize that you had a chance to end this article here and not dig yourself any deeper.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 10:10 PM, macemx wrote:

    I've learned one thing from this article:

    When Rick Aristotle Munarriz is the byline, just wait for something better to come along. It's guaranteed to be just a click away.

    Seriously. Any purchase of any product, at any time, for any reason, constitutes "not thinking", because some day something better will come along? That's the argument being made here?

    I'm not asking Motley Fool to "think different" when it decides to let writers make a laughing stock of the site. I'm asking it to "think", period.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 10:27 PM, TMFBreakerRick wrote:

    Thanks for the kind -- and not so kind -- words. I've earned them both.

    The point I had neglected to make was that when Apple came up short the previous quarter, missing Wall Street's revenue, profit, and iPhone targets, the bulls countered that it was simply folks waiting for the iPhone 4S that they knew would be coming the following quarter. I'm making a similar argument -- and when folks regret seeing the iPad 2 in March at $349 and the iPad 3 at $499 you know that they're going to have the same cold feet that iPhone buyers had this summer when the 2012 holiday quarter comes around.

    If you don't agree with me, then tell me why you think that Apple missed in its fiscal Q4 three months ago if it wasn't folks knowing that a better iPhone -- and cheaper iPhone 4 units -- were a quarter away.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2012, at 11:45 PM, bradenschaeffer wrote:

    Fireballed.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2012, at 12:15 AM, Magoo1mill wrote:

    Buddy, stop! Really, this is not making you look good. Apple didn't miss it's fiscal Q4. It missed some analyst expectations and a few went over the top about it. Once again, some analyst expectations were wrong, you for example, and rather than say - "I may have been way of the mark with my predictions, silly me". You blame Apple or the consumer. In the face of all evidence to the contrary you still believe you are in some way correct.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2012, at 3:20 AM, ruioliveira wrote:

    Hello! Hello! Is there anyone in there? To see if you can hear me, is there anyone home?

    OK, Pink Floyd appart, some people made predictions about Apple earnings with data that come out of some corporeal part I won't mention here (it happened with other corps too) and them they get inflamed because their numbers don't match reality! Amazing! Unless you have internal data that proves Apple was expecting better results don't insult other people's intelligence (again). Learn something from your fiasco and, please, "think differently" (or just "think"). Motley Fool's reader deserve it.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2012, at 3:55 AM, AppBull wrote:

    "When I said, 'What were they thinking at Point A when they got the iPad for Christmas when at Point B it is going to be cheaper and better?' I MEANT to say, 'What will they be thinking at Point C when the holidays come around again and the iPad 3 is nine months old and the crummy iPad 2 they got last Christmas is, like, 18 months old??? They aren't gonna wanna GET it!!' "

    The logic is running circles around itself. 

    The iPad does not need to be replaced every year, although the hard-core will go that route. As for me, the original iPad I got on Day 1 is still running beautifully, and I'm looking forward to the reported high-res screen of the iPad 3. 

    Sounds like Christmas in April. 

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2012, at 6:07 AM, swansont wrote:

    Why is it when a company falls short of analysts' expectations, as with Apple the previous quarter, or beats them handily, as with this quarter, nobody blames the analysts for doing a poor job of, you know, doing analysis?

    One basic flaw in this analysis is that the iPad3 will not make the iPad2 obsolete. Another is the complete shock of some analysts that consumers will pay more for a well-designed product.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2012, at 7:53 AM, aepxc wrote:

    People who buy tech for the sake of buying tech obsess about optimising the timing of their purchases so that they can brag to their friends about having "the latest and greatest" both as frequently and as cheaply as possible.

    People who buy tech as a tool to help them pursue other interests buy tech whenever the need or appropriate occasion arises.

    Nothing inherently wrong or stupid about any approach. In fact, people who do not like to brag about having the latest gadget probably like to brag about something else. It is, however, a window into the interests of the typical Apple user – a person who enjoys using tech much more than he or she enjoys having the latest one.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2012, at 8:19 AM, jafutral wrote:

    "If you don't agree with me, then tell me why you think that Apple missed in its fiscal Q4 three months ago if it wasn't folks knowing that a better iPhone -- and cheaper iPhone 4 units -- were a quarter away."

    First let's set straight what was missed—the pro analysts' expectations. They still met or beat their own guidance and most amateur analysts expectations.

    Second, I also think it is a stretch to say the 4s was a "quarter away". A couple weeks is more like it. And that previous quarter did not have a MAJOR, gift buying, consumerist holiday smack dab in the middle of it. There were habits and behavioural reasons at play.

    Third, as with the change in iPhone release cycle, there really is no reason to think that the next iPad has to be released this next quarter, is there? Since Apple doesn't release such info until they are ready, it could just as easily be yet an additional quarter away.

    I hate to use this phrase, but your premise is not exactly apples to apples.

    Joe

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2012, at 8:24 AM, kickbishopbrenna wrote:

    I just don't get them..still, I'm happy to have owned the shares from 70-ish! Trigger-finger getting itchy though, never had an apple device, probably never will.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2012, at 11:53 AM, cmp839 wrote:

    You're calling 15.4 million people 'thoughtless,' because your analysis was wrong? No offense, but your words smell of arrogant presumption.

    Perhaps a better, more humble response might be: "Oops. My mistake. These things happen. I'm human."

    I marvel at how some analysts view consumers who choose some (emphasis on 'some' - Apple is good as certain things, not-so-good at others) Apple products as 'mindless drones who have to own the new, shiny thing (or fanboys, if you prefer - the tone of your words is unmistakeable) rather than relatively thoughtful consumers who value quality, design, and utility.

    With all due respect, concluding the former seems dismissive and lazy.

    Otherwise, I enjoyed your article.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2012, at 3:55 PM, roontooner wrote:

    What a FOOL this fool is. Please don't write about Apple again as you OBVIOUSLY don't understand the company or it's customers.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2012, at 5:14 PM, fugeesnfunions wrote:

    "Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for HP."

    Thanks for the attempt at giving advice and all, but ANYONE involved in the stock market in ANY capacity that not only DOESN'T own any Apple stock, but actually owns HP stock instead, has no business handing out financial advice.

    As far as the iPad 3 is concerned, 1. It will be MONTHS until the average Joe can just walk into a store and buy one, so even though they'll technically be made available sometime this spring, you won't be able to actually buy one until summer. 2. Apple's iDevices have ridiculously high re-sale values, so you can buy an iPad 2 now, use it for a few months, then sell it for just under what you bought it for, and use that money to buy the iPad 3. It's called having your cake and eating it to :)

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2012, at 2:45 AM, Tldenmark wrote:

    Why buy any device when a new better one will be out next month or next year?

    Maybe because I need to use it now?

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2012, at 2:56 AM, Tldenmark wrote:

    I'm reading this article on an iPad2, on a business trip comfortably on a hotel bed, just after using it for a great chat with my wife and kids on FaceTime.

    My advice: never hire this idiot to write another article about tech. He clearly doesn't know what he is talking about and only makes The Fool look bad.

    Oh, and my daughters are doing great in their spelling and reading lessons they take on our old iPad.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2012, at 7:57 PM, thewgetmagi wrote:

    I feel like cynics can't really objectively comment. im an engineer and i have to use all sorts of platforms, so i have a pretty objective view.

    apple products are just made better, theyre more integrated, more reliable, and theyre durable. with the ipad, you really won't get it until you use one for an extended period of time. its not about money or time, its about how good it is, and its not just good, its great. i don't have patience for people who are not up to speed with the dynamic, it makes fool.com look old and out of touch, if not ignorant. what you should consider is the future post-jobs, that i would like to hear about, not semantic considerations surrounding a 100 dollar financial decision.

    also theoretically, we could wait any amount of time and any given product would probably be cheaper, so it seems like spending time going over that is a bit mundane. there is actually a man who lives three years in the past for this very reason, but i dont read here to be explained that.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2012, at 10:22 AM, aepxc wrote:

    "The point I had neglected to make was that when Apple came up short the previous quarter, missing Wall Street's revenue, profit, and iPhone targets, the bulls countered that it was simply folks waiting for the iPhone 4S that they knew would be coming the following quarter. I'm making a similar argument"

    ==============================

    Apple sold plenty of iPhones in Q3 as well. Likewise, had Apple released the iPad 3 at the same time as the iPhone 4S, iPad numbers would be drastically higher as well.

    Waiting for new tech sometimes makes sense for some people. It does not always make sense for everyone. This is where your argument crashes and burns. What were 15.4 million iPad purchasers thinking? Plenty of intelligent thoughts. Just like the 20.4 million iPhone purchasers just prior to the real ease of the iPhone 4S.

  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2012, at 8:07 PM, calgobears77 wrote:

    "The point I had neglected to make was that when Apple came up short the previous quarter, missing Wall Street's revenue, profit, and iPhone targets, the bulls countered that it was simply folks waiting for the iPhone 4S that they knew would be coming the following quarter. I'm making a similar argument"

    THE DIFFERENCE IS QUITE SIMPLE! Most people have a phone, they may even have an iphone, and it was not a big deal to wait a few months for the 4s, Both my daughters had Blackberries and did not mind waiting for the new 4s. However, 99% of those purchasing an ipad do not have a tablet, and do not want to wait for the next model. I asked my mother-in-law "are you sure you don't want to wait for the ipad3 ?" Her response was that she thought the ipad2 would do want she wanted it for and that there would always be a new model that would be coming out

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