The iPad 2, the only iPad with a number officially in its name, has been put to rest by Apple. It was removed from the Apple online store and replaced at the same pricepoint with the previously thought dead iPad with retina and lightning port (the 4th gen iPad).
One of Apple's longest running products the iPad 2 has really had a remarkable life. This long life is particularly interesting considering the fact that both the iPad 3rd gen and 4th gen (until now) had such short times on Apple's shelves.
Personally I always found it very odd that they kept the iPad 2 around as the low entry model for so long instead of just moving the last years model into that spot. This is the pattern they had been following with iPhones up until the last release where the 5 went into early retirement.
I guess the reason that the iPad 2 lived so long is that people kept buying them. Now personally I can't fathom doing such a thing as buying a two or three year old model new just to save a hundred bucks. This especially became true when the iPad mini came out cheaper than the 2. But I guess many people could and did do such a thing. I think I know more people with 2s than any other iPad model. Most people just don't grasp what the difference in processing power means and in a side by side store demonstration can't tell the difference between a retina screen and a non retina screen.
However, as well as the iPad 2 has done it really was time for it to die a while ago. And now with Apple offering refurbished iPad Airs for just $419 their really was no reason for people to ever buy a 2 for $400. The refurbed Air is my recomedation for anyone buying an iPad right now.
The big question now though is whether or not th iPhone 4s is going to die as the free iPhone option. With the iPad 2 dead it has no more 30 pin charger friends in the Apple store (except the iPod classic, but who counts that). And it may make sense at this poine for Apple to unify the line. They did just release a lower end 8gb iPhone 5C in other countries, but no word on if that will come over to America or not.
It will certainly be interesting to see what happens the next few months while we are in Q2, it is about time for another Apple event...