“Apple has registered a handful of new devices in the Eurasian commission database earlier this week, as discovered by Consomac,” Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac. “Legal obligations require devices that use encryption to be registered ahead of release. In the past, similar filings have tipped the hat on new MacBook models, the iPhone 7 and AirPods.”

“The latest entries represent two new devices, with model identifiers A1954 and A1893, which are described as Apple tablets running iOS 11,” Mayo reports. “This suggests that new iPads are coming sooner rather than later.”

“The most likely situation here is that the new iPads coming in the next couple of months are not the ‘Face ID’ iPad Pros,” Mayo reports. “Instead, this is probably a refresh to the cheaper non-Pro iPad line. In fact, Apple launched the $329 iPad in March 2017 … which lines up perfectly for a yearly refresh given the timing of the filings. The two model identifiers probably represent the WiFi and cellular connectivity options of the ‘same’ new iPad.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is this the $259 9.7-inch iPad about which Digitimes reported late last year?

Get ’em in the ecosystem with the the “starter iPad,” and they’ll be upgrading to iPad Pro eventually.

As we wrote over two months before Apple unveiled the $329 iPad in March 2017:

iPads are too expensive relative to the perceived competition and Apple has obviously done a piss-poor job of marketing the iPad family (read: clearly explaining to the hoi polloi why they want an iPad over an Amazon or other Android tablet).

Sticker price is the biggest reason why iPad sales struggle to return to growth (the next biggest reason is that iPads’ useful lives last so damn long, they’re not rapidly replaced).

We would have purchased iPads for family members this year if they had been updated as they should have been for the holiday season and if the prices were a bit more palatable. Yes, we know what an iPad offers. Yes, we know they’re worth the money Apple’s asking for today; even being last year’s models. But, Apple should really do the math and consider making certain hardware more affordable in exchange for the backend revenue and increased mindshare and market share that will deliver. — MacDailyNews, January 6, 2017

Apple plans 9.7-inch iPad for 2018 priced at just $259, sources say – December 1, 2017
Wired reviews Apple’s new iPad: Offers plenty for just $329 – May 8, 2017
The Daily Express reviews Apple’s new iPad: ‘World’s greatest tablet just got more affordable’ – April 22, 2017
Macworld reviews iPad (2017): With a stripped-down iPad for $329, you may not need to go pro – April 10, 2017
Ars Technica reviews Apple’s $329 iPad: ‘For people who have never upgraded’ – April 6, 2017
It’s just plain old iPad, and it’s cheap – starting at just $329! – April 3, 2017
Apple’s new iPad is actually more than ‘just’ an iPad Air – March 30, 2017
Apple unveils new 9.7-inch iPad starting at new low price of just $329 – March 21, 2017