Questionable rumor claims Apple 'considering' 2018 update to budget 9.7-inch iPad

Posted:
in iPad edited December 2017
Apple is allegedly considering a new, even cheaper "budget" iPad in 2018, priced around $259 while still retaining a 9.7-inch screen like the current $329 model, but there are reasons to believe it will simply be a price cut rather than new hardware.




The tablet could ship in the second quarter of 2018, supplier sources told DigiTimes. The people added that assembly will likely be handled by Compal Electronics, with printed circuit board orders going to Compeq and Unitech.

Specializing more in the Taiwanese electronics industry, DigiTimes has a mixed track record with future Apple product details. It's not clear how Apple would hit the $259 price target without sacrificing performance or features.

Theoretically, Apple could keep present specifications intact and simply issue a price cut -- in which case, though, it wouldn't actually be a "new" product.

While there are exceptions, Apple also often keeps products at their original price point for years while making few if any changes. The most infamous example is the Mac mini, which still costs at least $499 despite being unchanged since 2014.

An indication for what Apple plans to do with the 9.7-inch iPad might come from Apple's other budget-priced mass-market product, the iPhone SE. While Apple did recently drop the price of the iPhone SE $50 to $349, the phone has been mostly static since it launched in early 2016 -- the exception being a storage boost in March.

Similarly, the iPod touch has remained largely untouched since 2015, with Apple simply switching up storage capacity to keep it relevant.

Given that the $329 9.7-inch iPad boasts a starting capacity of 32 gigabytes, as well as an advanced A9 processor and M9 coprocessor capable of handling ARKit, it seems unlikely that Apple would feel a need to update the internal hardware or external design for a "new" model. Instead, its budget-priced iPad might see price reductions to spur sales and keep it relevant for another year on the market.

Such pricing strategies, however, would not likely be known to Apple's supply chain -- the primary source for DigiTimes scuttlebutt -- casting serious doubts on Friday's report, which could best be treated as speculation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,425member
    Maybe the iPad SE.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    Here's the deal with lower cost iPhones and iPads. Every time a new premium model comes out, the previous models get cheaper. You can simply buy and older gen device for a fraction of the cost. The beauty of Apple is that their devices have staying power, and a model that's 2 years old will still probably be more powerful than other companies latest budget devices...for the same price!
    RacerhomieX
  • Reply 3 of 29
    “DigiTimes”...nope. Thus endeth the story.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    adm1adm1 Posts: 805member
    new iPad mini maybe? (i wish)
    netmage
  • Reply 5 of 29
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 211member
    The 2017 iPad was a good move by Apple. Hopefully they'll do that with Macs with the Mac mini update also. It's making sure nobody encroaches on their turf and takes people away from the Apple ecosystem. So, I guess, they can go higher and lower at the same time, and if you want to get top notch, top price stuff, you can, and if you don't you can still use MacOS on a budget. I have this new iPad and it's good.
    netmageRacerhomieXxzu
  • Reply 6 of 29
    I think Apple has really nailed it with their iPad line. Essentially two types. 

    The basic iPad for $300 and the two iPad Pros.

    If you don't plan to do any work on an iPad, the basic iPad is a real bargain.

    And iOS is just more fun to use than MacOS!

    RacerhomieXjony0
  • Reply 7 of 29
    I got the budget ipad from att for $99 and I have to say it was one hell of a deal for the price if they made it less id buy another for just the GP.  
  • Reply 8 of 29
    The $329 9.7 is $299 most places, and was on sale on Back Friday etc. for $250.

    The problem is there is no 64Gb version.

    My nephew recently broke his screen on an older IPad (64Gb) so checked...

    I like the $250 price, a lot of people will buy that rather than repair the screen for $150.

    The 128Gb (next step up) is $400 making repairing the screen a better option.

    The IPad 10.5 (64Gb) is $600 which is pricey for a gift.

    The LTE adds $129 to the price.  I’m not sure why it’s so much...  probably why Apple and Qualcomm are ducking it out in court.

    I’d set the prices at 9.7 $250 (32Gb), $350 (128Gb) and 10.5 (64Gb) $500 

    If LTE was free through carriers (they eat the cost) that would make the tablets a lot more useful.

    With T-mobile adding a tablet (unlimited) is $20...
    xzu
  • Reply 9 of 29
    neilmneilm Posts: 526member
    The current iPad (5) is a very good deal and well priced in my opinion. However there's a yawning price gap between it and the 10.5" iPad Pro, made worse by having to go to the 256GB Pro if the base 64GB doesn't have sufficient capacity for your needs.

    This was driven home to me lately when we replaced both my wife's and my iPad Airs with a 128GB iPad (list $429 or $559 w/cellular data) and a 256GB 10.5" iPad Pro (list $799 or $929, although I got a sale deal). I don't need that much storage, but since 64GB isn't enough it had to be 256GB and the price that goes with it. I don't know why Apple even offers a 64GB Pro — that just seems pointless.
    RacerhomieX
  • Reply 10 of 29
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,645member
    I think Apple has really nailed it with their iPad line. Essentially two types. 

    The basic iPad for $300 and the two iPad Pros.

    If you don't plan to do any work on an iPad, the basic iPad is a real bargain.

    And iOS is just more fun to use than MacOS!

    Just picked up 32GB iPad for $250 at Target.com on Thanksgiving. Will be the first computing device of any kind my mother-in-law has ever had.
    RacerhomieX
  • Reply 11 of 29
    Kids and grandparents loves ipad....my ipnx is all i have been using laty...rest easy ipad🤣 my grandkid is waiting, 
  • Reply 12 of 29
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,337member
    Apple needs to release a Mac Tablet...  /s


  • Reply 13 of 29
    I think Apple has really nailed it with their iPad line. 
    Weird, I feel like it's a mess. No decent Mini's. Only the "Pro" models support the Pencil * — apparently drawing is something only done by professionals. (* yes, I understand the technical reasons)

    My iPad is dying, but I'm not going to spend hundreds of dollars on a two-year-old device that doesn't even do anything new. Sucks not being the target audience. 
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 14 of 29
    tipootipoo Posts: 849member
    I didn't love the un-laminated screen when I tried it in store, but damn, that price would be super cheap for that anyways. 
  • Reply 15 of 29
    I could see them dropping the price of the cheap iPad. That said I could see them jumping it up to the A10 just so that they don't need to keep making A9s. Right now the SE and the 6S are the only products I'm aware of that use the A9. The new Apple TV uses the A10, the iPhone 7 does as well, the basic Apple TV, iPod touch, and HomePod will use the A8. So my guess is that the iPad will jump with the iPhone SE to using A10 (I wish It was the A11 but they won't give that to the SE) Then they can continue to make the A10 in bulk for the next two years until the iPhone 7 stops being sold, in which case they can bump them all up to the A12.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    I would buy one. 

    That price drop would be significant here in Brazil.

    My iPad Air first generation fell and cracked the screen, them 4 months later a girl dropped juice on it and it stop working.

    A new iPad, the budget one here in Brazil is 921 dollars.

    Whit that drop it would go down significantly since everything here is times three.
    Buy in paraguay, is basic same preço than USA
  • Reply 17 of 29
    (I wish It was the A11 but they won't give that to the SE)
    What do you wanna bet?
  • Reply 18 of 29
    still using an ipad mini from i don’t know way back 2014? still awesome though slowness sometimes now shows because of the recent ios updates.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,421member
    I could see them dropping the price of the cheap iPad. That said I could see them jumping it up to the A10 just so that they don't need to keep making A9s. Right now the SE and the 6S are the only products I'm aware of that use the A9. The new Apple TV uses the A10, the iPhone 7 does as well, the basic Apple TV, iPod touch, and HomePod will use the A8. So my guess is that the iPad will jump with the iPhone SE to using A10 (I wish It was the A11 but they won't give that to the SE) Then they can continue to make the A10 in bulk for the next two years until the iPhone 7 stops being sold, in which case they can bump them all up to the A12.
    Actually anything below A11 will have a very short lifespan.    Apple has already told Imagination how much loneger they would be using their IP.  While it isnt written in stone i dont expect Apple to be selling any chips containing Imagination IP after 2018.   So any upgrades containing Imagination hardware this year or early next, will have a short life span.  2018 will be about A11 and post A12 chips.  
  • Reply 20 of 29
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,270member
    I’d be happy with a colourful plastic backed iPad SE.
    Slightly thicker for a bigger battery and TouchID.
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