Analyst: Apple to be 'nimble' on iPad pricing, athletic on pommel horse

Apple's $499 starting iPad price tag is already lower than many people -- and a few competitors -- expected, but apparently Steve and company have left themselves a little wiggle room: Credit Suisse analyst Bill Shope says that Apple told him it'll remain "nimble" when it comes to iPad pricing, suggesting that the price could drop if sales don't meet targets. That's not a hugely surprising thing to say, considering Apple's trying to be the first to achieve real success with a 'tweener device and strong pressure from netbooks, laptops, and smartphones threatens to collapse the space entirely, but a lot of people are taking it to mean some kind of drop is a done deal -- particularly since Apple cut the price of the first-gen iPhone by $200 just a few months after it launched and saw already-solid sales triple. We're honestly not so sure, though: Apple always tells investors that it's confident in how its products are priced but responsive to market changes, and it's not like a smaller price cut boosted the Apple TV into hit product territory. We'll see what happens after the iPad actually goes on sale -- we doubt we'll see any changes for another few months at least.