One thing 2011 has taught us is that tablets in general are way overpriced, with high prices the difference between polite interest from the tablet-buying public and actual pound notes in the cash register.
Given its continued market domination that's clearly not a criticism you'd make of the iPad 2, so Apple's rivals should be all the more concerned by rumours that the overachieving slate is on the brink of a price drop.
When the iPad 2 was officially announced earlier in the year, disappointment at the modest spec boost was balanced by raised eyebrows at how Apple had managed to cap the slate's price at the exact same level as the old model.
You could practically hear the sighs of disappointment from the likes of HTC, HP, RIM and Motorola as they tried to drum up interest in their own overpriced slates.
Fast forward to today, however, and we have the Amazon Kindle Fire offering decent Android tablet performance at an ultra-affordable price, and the likes of the quad-core Asus Transformer Prime just around the corner. And dramatic price cuts to the HP TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook – while motivated by desparation – have illustrated that demand for other tablets is there, so long as the price is right.
As a result of all that, it's believed that Apple currently has an oversupply of iPad 2s, and Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope reckons a price drop is the obvious solution to clearing what he calls “short-term market saturation”.
Speaking to MSNBC in the US, Shope argued that the iPad 2 was “long overdue for a price cut”. We're not sure if we agree, but there's certainly a case for one right now. There's no time like the run-up to Christmas to cut your prices, especially with such strong rivals lining up to steal sales from the iPad.
And with consumers increasingly aware that the iPad 2 is into the second half of its life cycle ahead of the likely arrival of the iPad 3 in the spring, we'd hardly be surprised to see Apple resort to the oldest trick in the book in a bid to boost sales.