Apple reportedly planning "even cheaper" 9.7-inch iPad for launch next year

Report Apple plans to release cheapest iPad ever in Q2 2018

Report Apple plans to release cheapest iPad ever in Q2 2018

And now, looking to build on this upward graph, Apple is reportedly mulling over releasing a more affordable version of its current 9.7-inch iPad model in 2018. Until that product announcement (March 2017) the minimum price you would have had to fork out for a new full-sized iPad would have been $399 / £379 for a 16GB iPad Air 2.

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It's not clear whether this new $259 iPad would be introduced in addition to the $329 model, or if it would replace it entirely as its (lower-priced) successor. We should, however, note that Digitimes has a mixed track record for leak accuracy, due to the difficulties of procuring reliable information from supply chain sources - rather than from Apple directly. Big thumbs up to Apple. It is believed that this device should attract more demand from price-oriented consumers which in turn, will allow Apple to maintain its present 10 million-unit tablet shipments a quarter. Also, the report states that Apple is planning to expand the low-cost iPad into the service and industrial sectors.

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The report also points out that Apple is likely to outsource the production of the new iPad to Compal Electronics, while giving the device's PCB orders to Compeq and Unitech Printed Circuit Board.

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The sources mentioned in the report also predict that this new aggressive pricing would spur a new wave of competition between Apple and its main rivals in that sector - Samsung, Amazon, Huawei, and Lenovo. Perhaps the tablet segment can be saved after all.

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