Apple quietly retired their best selling tablet today, and they replaced it with a slightly newer model.
The iPad 2 had been Apple's designated budget model ever since it was reintroduced in 2012, but this 2011 era tablet has been getting a little long in the tooth. With benchmark tests, cameras (VGA and 2MP), and a screen resolution (1024 x 768) about on par with today's budget Android tablets, the iPad 2 no longer presented as good of a value as it did 2 years ago.
But the iPad 4, now that's another matter. This tablet, which was initially released in late 2012, has a better CPU, much better graphics chip, higher resolution cameras (5MP and 1.2MP), and 4 times the screen resolution (2,048 x 1,536). With a price tag of $400, it's going to present a much better value than the iPad 2.
But even though this looks like a nice tablet, it's far from perfect. That higher resolution screen requires a much larger battery and the screen resolution largely cancels out the more powerful graphics chip. Also, this tablet is limited to only 16GB of storage, and if you use a lot of digital textbooks or download videos which make use of the full screen resolution that's a detail you'll notice pretty quickly.
In spite of the few shortcomings, I might even get one. The screen on my iPad 2 has long been broken, but I have been avoiding replacing it because it worked well enough. But with the relaunch of the iPad 4, now might be a good time to upgrade.
I would expect that a lot of iPad 2 owners feel the same way, and given that the iPad 2 represents the single largest block of iPad models I would bet that Apple is going to have a huge bump in sales this quarter.