Are you considering buying an iPad as soon as it hits store shelves? Maybe you are excited about all of the functions that the new iPad has to offer (apps, video, web browsing, e-book reader, music and games). Are you already planning on lining up outside the Apple store in late March of this year? Well not so fast! If history is any guide, your best bet might be to wait a few months before rushing out to buy that new iPad. (Learn how Apple and Steve Jobs are able to generate buzz about their products. Read Hype It Like Steve Jobs.)

Remember the iPod
Think way back to October 23, 2001 when Apple unveiled its first ever MP3 player known as the iPod. The original iPod sold for $399, was only compatible with Macintosh had a 5 gigabyte hard drive and was capable of storing 1,000 songs. Sounds like a good deal, right? Well an even better one was announced about 8 months later. In July of 2002, Apple introduced the second generation iPod which was Windows compatible had a 10GB hard drive and sold for $399. The original 5GB iPod's price was discounted over 25% to $299.

Flash forward a year and a half from the original launch date, and Apple completely redesigned the iPod. The newer third generation iPod was much sleeker, had a dock connector, more advanced touch sensitive wheel and a standard 15GB hard drive for $399. The 10GB hard drive iPod saw its price drop to $299 in just over 9 months. The original 5GB iPod was discontinued. (Learn more about what goes into the production and invention of these new products. Read Lead The Charge With Product Development.)

Don't Forget the iPhone
Let's take a look at another Apple product. The original iPhone available with a 8GB hard drive went on sale September 5, 2007. The price tag for the 8GB hard drive was a whopping $599! Ouch. Less than two months later, Apple dropped the 8GB iPhone's price from $599 to $399. Customers who had bought the iPhone at the $599 price felt burned and were outraged at the rapid price drop. One year later Apple released the iPhone 3G. The 16GB iPhone 3G went on sale with a price of $299 and the 8GB model sold for $199.

Customers that waited one year from the initial launch to buy an iPhone received a phone with twice the memory of the original that can run more applications and has a faster network. All of these upgrades for half the price of the original iPhone.

Since the arrival of the iPhone 3GS on September 9, 2009 the iPhone 3G has seen its price drop even further. Did you notice the trend? After the initial release of an Apple product the price drops, features improve and the memory increases.

Wait for the iPad
The newly released Apple iPad is expected to range in price from $499 to $829 depending upon memory capacity and wi-fi options. Many analysts expected the iPad to sell from $600 to $1,000. But just because the iPad is cheaper than initially expected that doesn't mean you have to rush out to buy one. So, why wait? Because if history is any guide the Apple iPad will be much cheaper six months to a year from now with more applications and a larger memory. Besides, the next iPad will likely have additional features such as a camera, USB port connectivity and multitasking.

Even though the iPad's current price appears to be a good deal for this exciting new gadget, history shows you will get an even better deal by waiting. (Apple usually has product-launch success, but it's not like this for all companies; Learn 6 Reasons Why Products Fail.)

Want to learn how to invest?

Get a free 10 week email series that will teach you how to start investing.

Delivered twice a week, straight to your inbox.