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By Matt Burns

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There was a debate over the last few months regarding the iPad 2. Some said the iPad 3, now known as the new iPad, would replace the iPad 2. Others, including myself, speculated that the similar form factor and slightly upgraded specs (plus it’s still selling like gangbusters) all told a different story. Well, as it turns out, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in fact keeping the iPad 2 on the market for the time being.

Starting today, the iPad 2 will be available in only 16GB form. The WiFi version will cost $399 and the WiFi/3G version is $529. That’s a $100 drop from its previous MSRP. Android tabs should officially be on notice now.

This puts the best selling tablet in a new price point range. At $399 it’s within striking distance of Android tablets like the Asus Transformer and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. This is huge.

This strategy will likely increase Apple’s dominance in the tablet space. It now is officially selling two models. It doesn’t matter to the average consumer if one of them is a year old; it’s still better than nearly every other Android tab.

Since the iPad 2 and the new iPad share many components and manufacturing processes, it’s all prancing unicorns for Apple. 2012 is going to be the year of the iPad (and new iPad).

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Source: Watch Out Amazon, The iPad 2 Is Now Just $399