The iPhone was the jewel in the crown, and the iPod touch was there for those who either didn't want or couldn't afford an iPhone. It was a clever strategy because it covered both the high-end market (iPhone) and the mid-range market (iPod touch).
And for many, the iPod touch was the gateway drug into buying an iPhone. It was a cheap way to experience what an iPhone could offer but without the hassles of a data plan or contract.
And it worked.
But now Apple has changed the gateway drug. But it's not the new iPad (aka iPad 3) that's the new drug luring people into a post-PC era. It's the cheaper iPad 2 that was announced.
The new iPad might have a really cool 'retina display' LCD panel, and a nifty quad-core graphics processor, but the iPad 2 has something even more compelling – a lower price tag.
At $399 for the WiFi version of the iPad 2 (compared to $499 for the cheapest in the newer range), this is going to be hard for people to resist, and Apple knows this. At the announcement Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller himself said that “now there really is something for everyone.”
This $100 price drop for the iPad 2 will also appeal to volume buyers. With the iPad 2, buyers are essentially getting five iPad 2s for the price of four of the new iPads.
Apple might have been talking up the new iPad at the press event, but the key to Apple dominating the post-PC ecosystem is having a low-priced tablet out there. And now Apple has one, and it's at a price point where tablet OEMs building hardware for Windows 8 will find it very hard to match.
And OEM’s price isn't right, then Windows 8 tablets could well be toast before they even hit the shelves, and Apple will control what happens in the post-PC world for some time to come.