Apple is only one of the few manufacturers who keep shoving hope in the almost lifeless tablet industry. In 2017, they rolled out two tablet models — the iPad Pro for the high-end, laptop-rivalling, premium tablet segment and the iPad 2017 for the average tablet user. Apple claims that they ship around 10 million units of tablets every quarter and they are looking to enhance or at least maintain that figure with a new affordable tablet next year.
If we are to believe DigiTimes’ report, Apple is working on a new $259 (approximately Rs 16,000) iPad. This inexpensive iPad will retain the iPad 2017’s 9.7-inch form factor but will use relatively ‘less-able’ components, i.e. this budget iPad won’t be as powerful as the cheapest iPad on sale today. The budget iPad will be unveiled sometime in the latter half of 2018 and will compete with offerings from some of the major players in this field such as Samsung and Lenovo.
The current iPad 2017 is available off the shelf for Rs 28,000 and is built on an Apple A9 chip that powers the 2015 iPhone 6S and the 2016 iPhone SE. If this iPad is supposed to be an affordable option to the 2017 iPad, then it could possibly use the old A8 chip from the 2014 iPhone 6 or at most use the A9 chip in a tuned-down state. It is believed to debut with iOS 12 that Apple is expected to unveil next year.
The tablet market, despite being a weaker one, keeps on posting decent numbers. Apple’s iPad lineup has been considered to be a better tablet platform than that of Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows. A cheaper iPad will surely make the aspirational iPad more accessible to the masses.