Apple is planning to launch its most affordable 9.7-inch iPad in 2018, according to a report from DigiTimes. The report states that the newer version of the iPad will be priced at US$259 (Rs 16,7000), which is even lower (US$329) than the iPad launched in March this year. The newer model will compete with brands like Samsung, Amazon, Huawei, and Lenovo.
The DigiTimes report does not provide any details on whether the newer model will replace the 2017 9.7-inch model or accompany it. However, the newer iPad might be a slightly toned down version(specification-wise) of the 2017 model with a similar design and camera sensor. If true, then it will be the most affordable iPad from Apple.
According to DigiTimes, With the tablet market already becoming mature, Apple has been seeing weakening sales for its iPad series, while Android-based tablet shipments have also been declining. Most second- and third-tier brand vendors had already stepped out of the market, while China-based white-box tablet players had also shifted their focuses to other product lines after Intel stopped providing subsidies for using its CPUs.
The report noted that Apple is likely to outsource production of a new iPad to power Taiwan’s Compal Electronics, and printed circuit Board of the device will produce Compeq and Unitech Printed Circuit Board. However, all companies refused to comment on their orders or future customers. The report pointed out that Apple’s new iPad may arrive in the second quarter of 2018.
The 2017 iPad features 9.7-inch Retina display, 64-bit A9 chip, iOS 11, 8MP and FaceTime HD cameras and Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The company claims that it has a 10-hour battery life. The iPad weighs 469 grams.