Apple planning even cheaper iPad for 2018

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An iPad refresh could be right around the corner.
Photo: Apple

Apple is said to be developing a new inexpensive iPad for 2018.

Sources say it will be even cheaper than the 9.7-inch model currently on offer as the company looks to take on affordable rivals from the likes of Amazon, Samsung, and Huawei.

Apple made the iPad cheaper than ever back in March. At just $379, its entry-level 9.7-inch model is even more affordable than an iPad mini. Customers still get a sharp Retina display, a snappy A9 processor, and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Apple plans to make iPad even cheaper

Cheaper tablets are still available, however. Now Apple wants to chase after them with a new 9.7-inch iPad that will cost just $259, according to Digitimes. The company hopes the device will help maintain its 10 million tablet shipments per quarter.

“With the new device, the sources expect the tablet market to witness a new wave of price competition among first-tier players including Samsung Electronics, Amazon, Huawei and Lenovo,” adds the report.

iPad sales have been falling

iPad sales have been falling every year since 2014 as the tablet market matures. Consumers don’t buy tablets as frequently as they buy smartphones; many hold onto the same device for years — or decide they don’t actually need one at all.

However, during the third fiscal quarter of 2017, iPad sales actually rose year-over-year. iPad Pro and its additional functionality and features played a large part in that, but a more affordable iPad was certainly a big factor, too.

Apple will be hoping its next entry-level model will have just as much impact.

iPad could cost $259 in 2018

Supply chain sources expect Apple’s new entry-level iPad to arrive in the second half of 2018. They say the device will be manufactured by Compal Electronics, while Compeq and Unitech Printed Circuit Board will be responsible for its logic boards.