Ars Technica reviews Apple’s $329 iPad: ‘For people who have never upgraded’

“Apple isn’t shy about admitting it: the biggest feature of its newest iPad is the price. At $329, it’s $70 cheaper than the iPad Air 2 used to be, $270 cheaper than the smaller iPad Pro costs now, and $170 cheaper than the initial starting price of the iPad back in 2010,” Andrew Cunningham writes for Ars Technica. “It’s a big shift, especially after a year-and-a-half where larger and more expensive iPads were Apple’s main focus.”

“That’s apparently where the users are. Apple told us that the iPad Air 2 was its most popular iPad, and it had been since its introduction in October of 2014,” Cunningham writes. “It was the most popular with enterprises, the most popular with small businesses, the most popular in schools, and the most popular with people who were new to the iPad altogether (more than half of all iPad Air 2 buyers were picking up their first iPad). And even after the introduction of the iPad Mini in 2012 and the big iPad Pro in 2015, the 9.7-inch screen size has remained the most popular of the three.”

“So one of the $329 iPad’s goals was to replace the aging iPad Air 2 for all of those audiences,” Cunningham writes. “Its second goal was to entice the tens of millions of people who bought one of the first four iPad generations or the first iPad Mini to buy an iPad again.”

Tons more in the full review – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Telling quote: “Exposes just how little the 9.7-inch iPad Pro does to earn its ‘Pro’ label.”

As we wrote over a year ago in December 2015:

Imagine an “iOS Pro” mode.

Turn on iOS Pro on your iPad Pro
1. Tap Settings > General, and make sure iOS Pro is turned on.
2. There is no step two.

Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

Shouldn’t such a thing already exist? Where would iPad sales be if it did?

Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016


  1. You can imagine the improved upgrade to this from an iPad 3 but I’m curious about this supposed new iPad Pro 10.5″ everyone was talking about weeks ago, and now fallen silent. So is it going to happen or not? I know it’s a rumor and how that usually goes but it’d be nice to see before buying another iPad. Not that I mind spending less dough for a much faster model than what I have. The old iPad 3 feels like this Bugs Bunny cartoon:

  2. I “upgraded” from an iPad Air 2 to an iPad Pro last summer, bought the overpriced Pencil that I never use and the USB C power adapter that should come for the exorbitant price instead of the 12 W crap Apple ships. It is not much of a performance jump and is in no way a desktop or laptop replacement.

    The iPads are not selling well because they are too damned expensive for the market. For the bulk of the market the much cheaper Android Tablets are just fine- Apple needs to show something to justify the premium they are charging and they are not doing it. When you spend $1000 on an iPad Pro you should not have to spend an other $100 for the pen and and another $75 to get the proper power adapter and cable- that is just fucking cheap.

    Then there is the whole rip off for the LTE Data Radio. Every iPad should come with the LTE Radio built in and Apple can eat the minimal added production expense. Every iPad Pro should come with the 27 Watt USB C power adapter- not that slow assed 12 watt adapter and the Pen should also come along for the ride.

    A big part of Apple’s problem is that they have become wedded to 30% margins and have sucked up most of that market and are now looking for growth where margins have to be tighter. That leaves them with the options of adding performance and features to justify the higher price or cutting the retail price of their hardware.

    For all the Premium Products marketing fanboy bullshit, anybody who reads knows Apple is using Samsung, LG and other common sourced parts excepting it’s A series processors. They also know they are assembled in China with low wage labor. They also know that many carriers will give you an Android Tablet with similar capabilities as an iPad just to get you to sign up for their data service. Friends, that is the market Apple is playing in with the iPad.

    Apple needs to make a choice- top out and stay in the ghetto of high priced toys or come down and rumble in the mass market. They can keep the 30&% margins in one but not the other. If they want market share they are going to have to cut their excessive margins.

    1. As I noted yesterday, the iOS Contacts app doesn’t even let you add a new group to put contacts in. You can do it by going to in iOS Safari, but you must request the desktop site. Or you have to use the 3rd party app Groups.

      How can Apple even think consumers should believe the iPad (especially the Pro model) to be a full and proper desktop replacement, when they themselves don’t offer such basic contact management functionality??

  3. I guess your business model is Milo Minderbinder in Catch 22, who bought eggs for fifty cents and sold them for twenty-five, making a killing from the high volume.

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