Report: Apple to finally phase out iPad 2 ‘in the near future’

iPad 2 teaser

Nearly three years following its March 2011 debut, Apple is finally set to discontinue its second-generation iPad. The iPad 2 was arguably the most important iPad refresh in history, bringing a major redesign from the original iPad, VGA front-facing and 720p rear-facing cameras designed for FaceTime video calling and image capture, magnetic Smart Covers and substantial speed increases courtesy of the Apple-designed dual-core A5 processor.

According to a new report, customers are “resoundingly” buying more of the iPad Air and iPad mini, prompting Apple’s leadership to decrease iPad 2 production going forward…

AppleInsider learned from sources:

According to people familiar with Apple’s plans, the company has made the decision to ramp down iPad 2 production given that customers are resoundingly shifting purchases towards its more modern and capable iPads, namely the iPad mini and iPad Air.

The story stopped short of specifying when exactly Apple might stop selling the iPad 2 as its stocks wind down.

After refreshing the iPad lineup last October, Apple surprised watchers by keeping the iPad 2 on the market. The device proved extremely popular not only with regular buyers, but with corporate and education markets as well.

This is in part due to its compatibility with tons of 30-pin Dock connector accessories and mostly because the iPad 2 is the cheapest full-size iPad. Note that the device is currently the only remaining Dock Connector iPad in Apple’s lineup.

The Wi-Fi-only model with sixteen gigabytes of storage is a $399 value, the same as the iPad mini with Retina display. The 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular variant costs $529.

Walmart’s most recent promotion has brought the Wi-Fi iPad 2 down to a more bearable $299 in the form of an electronic $100 gift card.

According to a recent survey by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, the iPad 2 is still selling surprisingly well given its age, making up 22 percent of Apple’s tablet sales in the September quarter.