iDropNewsA mock-up of the Apple iPad 2018 design done by iDropNews based on leaks
Rumor has it that Apple is preparing its cheapest iPad ever for a 2018 release.
According to DigiTimes, the tech giant’s upcoming 9.7-inch iPad will be priced at around $259 for 2018. That is a 20 percent rate drop from its current model that sells at $329.
The media outlet is basing the report from sources at related upstream suppliers. They say the move is aimed to be more competitive against first tier tablet players like Samsung Electronics, Amazon, Huawei, and Lenovo.
The lower rate should attract more price-oriented consumers to switch to Apple, and thus allow the company to maintain its current 10 million-unit tablet shipments per quarter.
Apple has reportedly seen weakening sales for its iPad series, as demand for the overall tablet market goes down. Selling iPad at a lower price will help the brand reach out to the industrial and service sectors. That should also make it more accessible to schools that have been wanting iPad as part of their school kits.
Appleinsider, however, points out that this could also backfire, and make it less attractive for loyal Apple users.
Lowering the iPad price could also mean that the makers would be using inferior-quality materials to be able to hit the required price point. The report said a $259 is hard to imagine without sacrificing the gadget’s performance or features.
Instead of affirming the DigiTimes report, Appleinsider believes that the 2018 release would be a cheaper price point for an already existing iPad.
For fans and anyone coveting an iPad at a more affordable rate, there is still a few months to wait to find out. The DigiTimes report states that the new cheaper iPad, if indeed there is one, will not come out until the second quarter of 2018.
Sources say that the cheap iPad production will most likely be outsourced to Compal Electronics, while the PCB orders will be given to Compeq and Unitech Printed Circuit Board. Neither Apple nor the said companies have commented on the rumor.