Going by the report, there are no details regarding whether the new version for 2018 will be replacing or coming along with the 9.7-inch iPad of the 2017 model.
Apple is gearing up to launch an affordable 9.7-inch iPad next year, according a DIGITIMES report. The company is expected to introduce the 2018 version at a cost of $259 (approximately Rs.16,700). This is lower as compared to the $329 price (about Rs.21,200) of the 9.7-inch iPad which was launched in March 2017.
With the launch of a cost-effective iPad in 2018, Apple is aiming at getting into the higher-volume markets consisting of price-conscious customers. The company is looking at reviving iPad sales which have been witnessing a slowdown since 2014. An iPad in the sub-Rs. 20,000 range from Apple will be competing with tablets from Samsung, Lenovo and Huawei, among others. Currently, the company uses a native mobile OS on its iPad, while models from other players operate on Windows OS.
Going by the report, there are no details regarding whether the new version for 2018 will be replacing or coming along with the 9.7-inch iPad of the 2017 model. If next year’s iPad accompanies the 2017 model, it may be toned down slightly in terms of specifications and sport a similar camera sensor. If this is true, then the 2018 model will be cheapest 9.7-inch iPad from Apple. The new version will be manufactured by the company’s supplier, Compal Electronics. It is likely that the 9.7-inch iPad will be introduced in the second quarter of 2018. Apart from regular consumers, the 2018 iPad is likely to attract service as well as industrial sectors.
While Apple’s standard iPad will become cheaper in 2018, iPad Pro models will get costlier if one goes by the recent reports which suggest that the upcoming versions will sport slimmer bezels and a facial recognition feature or Face ID. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, said a few months ago that Apple’s iPad Pro versions in 2018 will come with Face ID and TrueDepth camera akin to that in the latest model of iPhone X. The highlight of this device is the A11 Bionic chip that has a neural engine to enable machine learning, along with augmented reality and immersive 3D gaming.
The above information suggests that there will be two distinct categories of iPads next year. The budget iPad will probably come with 2017 hardware as well as a standard design, whereas the high-end iPad will be similar to the iPhone X and sport premium features like Face ID and slimmer bezels.
Apple has been going all out to push its iPad range with cost-effective regular variants as well as major updates of the iPad Pro every year. The company is looking at targeting cost-effective Android tablets by providing users with cheaper iOS options. The iPad model launched in 2017 has witnessed a pickup in terms of sales, particularly in India and China. In the past there have been predictions from analysts pointing out that these markets indicate the future for products from Apple. That is essentially why a cheaper model of iPad in 2018 could lure more customers in such markets.