iPad 2 Hits Stores on March 11; Original iPad Prices Drop

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Apple unveiled the new iPad 2 today, which has some major upgrades from the original iPad, but while Mac heads are gearing up for the March 11 in-store date, those who have been drooling over the device now have the chance to buy the first model at a reduced price.

Of the most notable features, the new iPad 2 is thinner than an iPhone 4, and about twice as fast as its predecessor, reports Engadget. It also boasts not one, but two cameras, which allows users to engage in FaceTime. Those who aren't into the black exterior now have the option of getting the device in white. But the price remains unchanged, starting at $499 for the 16 GB WiFi base model.
However, the original 16GB WiFi iPad is now available at the lowered price of $399. That's $100 less, and the new model isn't even out yet. Now, $399 is still a lot of money, but the real reason why we're so excited about this is that there may be another price drop coming soon.

While Apple just made its iPad 2 announcement, techies are already buzzing about the iPad 3, which is rumored to come out this fall. In fact, some analysts are predicting a September release. That's just six months from now.

Whenever the iPad 3 arrives, we expect prices for the original iPad and iPad 2 to drop. Some say the first iPad could be available for as low at $199, which doesn't seem like a huge stretch since AT&T is offering the 8GB iPhone 3GS for $49 now.

If all goes according to this timeline, iPads could be way more affordable by the end of the year. Are you waiting for iPad prices drop? Or are they too expensive regardless of how much they're reduced? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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