I wasn’t very optimistic about Core reducing its prices and was concerned that it would continue charging consumers full price for the iPad 1 even though the iPad 2 is about to be released overseas. Consumers would likely be oblivious of the update and buy the iPad 1 at its, admittedly, attractive pricing until Core brought the iPad 2 into South Africa down the line. I’ve been somewhat anti-Core for sometime now mainly due to what I perceived as price gouging and a particularly anti-consumer approach.
I have had to rethink my perceptions of the Core Group lately and this latest news just reinforces that need to do just that. I expected Core to launch the iPad 1 at absurd prices in an effort to make as much money as it possibly could from unsuspecting consumers only too happy to have a relatively dated piece of Apple tech (well, those who didn’t buy one from the many informal and gray importers). They didn’t. Instead they introduced the iPad into their stores and channels at what I regard as very reasonable prices.
Notwithstanding my historical bias against the Core Group, there was no reason why Core had to cut its iPad 1 prices. Even if Core concludes a deal with Apple in the UK to bring the iPad 2 to South Africa in the coming months, the fact is the iPad 1 is the only version officially available in South Africa till then and with the likely price gouging the gray importers are likely to inflict on consumers eager for their iPad 2’s, Core’s pricing for the iPad 1 would still be pretty attractive for consumers who don’t care about the iPad 2 upgrades.
Instead what has happened is Core has exceeded my expectations and cut their prices. There are certainly economic reasons to do this (cheaper iPads mean more purchases and a larger demand for the next generation, I expect) but I would have expected the price drops much closer to the iPad 2’s arrival in South Africa, whenever that happens. I don’t know if this pricing strategy is due to pressure from Apple or a mindset shift at Core but I have far more respect for the Core Group given these steps and was wrong to assume the worst so readily.
Now I just need to decide whether I want an iPad 2 for myself one day …