Within the next month or two, Apple will surely release a sequel to the iPad. By all accounts, iPad 2 will sport at least one camera, and probably two.
Is that enough of a reason to buy an iPad 2 instead of the original iPad? What I mean is, if you hadn't yet been motivated to purchase an iPad, would the mere addition of a camera or two provide the final push you needed?
Now, I fully expect that the iPad 2 will sport a faster processor, and perhaps some technology that improves something about the screen. But those features aren't ones that motivate non-nerd buyers. And I think most Apple nerds already own an iPad.
I haven't heard any rumors, nor do I have any reason to suspect, that there are other big new features in the iPad—features of the sort that would spur more sales to folks for whom the original iPad was not enough.
Now, to be clear, I'm not suggesting that the iPad 2 will be a dud. If it "only" gets cameras and a speedier process, I believe that Apple will continue to sell plenty, which is of course an easy supposition to make.
But one way Apple could ensure that the iPad 2 doesn't just continue the original iPad's success, but in fact outpaces it completely, is this: add all those improvements, and lower the price.
Apple's tablet competitors already can't compete on price. The Super Bowl-hyped Motorola Xoom will apparently cost $800, vs. the original iPad's $500 base price tag. (Don't be surprised if the Xoom itself boosts iPad sales, as Android devotees give up on waiting for a worthy iPad competitor and join us.)
If Apple can somehow upgrade the iPad and drop the price even further—to, say, $400 for the entry level—that would be a) simply stunning, and b) a way to guarantee iPad 2 sales would outpace even the unbelievable performance of the original.