Report: Apple iPad 2 orders declining, price drop could help

The iPad 2 has seen no shortage of success since its release this year, selling one million units within its opening weekend and pushing total sales of the Apple’s tablet line to around 40 million. But with the iPad 3 on the horizon, it may soon be time for the Cupertino company to retire the ol’ gal. That time could be sooner than most expect.

Report: Apple iPad 2 orders declining, price drop could helpSuppliers for the iPad 2 told DigiTimes that orders for the device have dropped in recent weeks, adding that the news doesn’t necessarily mean Apple will ditch the cash cow.

And why should it?

Rough numbers compiled by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in a single Apple Store on Black Friday saw iPad sales jump nearly 70 percent over last year’s retail holiday. An unverified report from 9to5mac claimed iPad 2 sales this year helped the company’s retail chain beat its sales forecast hours before stores closed.

Another suggestion from the site’s sources was that Apple may drop the price of the iPad 2 in order to better compete with Amazon’s $200 Kindle Fire. The new tablet has garnered massive sales since its November 15 launch, though critics have been far less kind.

Apple has yet to officially announce the iPad 3, though there’s been plenty of speculation on just when the big reveal will come. And an order cutback for the last-gen version, while far from confirmation a next-gen model is coming soon, is worth some consideration.