Apple preparing for cheaper iPad 2 enterprise push?

Reports suggest that while Apple is ramping up for an iPad 3 launch, a push for an enterprise-focused, cheaper iPad 2 with less memory could also be on the cards.

Rumour mill Digitimes reports this morning that Apple is readying a cheaper, 8GB version of its current iPad 2, alongside the upcoming expected iPad 3 tablet. An announcement is set for March 7th.

"In addition to iPad 3, Apple is also expected to unveil an 8GB iPad 2, allowing the tablet PC series to cover different segments and to defend against Windows 8-based tablet PCs, the sources noted."

Forget the iPad 3 for now. The chances are it will be priced at the same level as the iPad 2's 16GB and 32GB models, and will be an expensive device that only the wealthy companies can viably take advantage of.

A cheaper version of its older iPad 2 device may not have been a widely considered option until the report out today. The lesser memory also makes sense, allowing for the cheaper manufacturer of the device to reflect on cheaper volume pricing, and ultimately a lower cost to the business spending. Tablets only need to run a few applications, rather than act as storage device. That's what servers and datacenters are for.

Apple's focus on the enterprise market has yet to shine through since Tim Cook's takeover last year. While consumer focus is still strong, its business focus could be better.

Digitimes is mixed at best. The report cannot be verified but it does not prevent the media from jumping on it as though it is fact. A similar report from the publication said that Apple is delivering samples of a 7.85-inch iPad device, which would aggressively compete with existing mid-sized range tablets already present on the market.

Whether Apple will break away from the usual mould and actively and directly compete with a rival product, it remains to be seen.

It is not Apple's style to 'react' to a rival, in this case the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook. It could also take a swipe at the upcoming range of business-focused Windows 8 'slates'.

Apple sticks at what it does, and remains interested but not fixated on market share. While its users still thinks that the company can do wrong, it knows otherwise. Consumers will remain faithful, but the enterprise still requires the 'cheaper' factor.