Apple plans 9.7-inch iPad for 2018 priced at just $259, sources say

“Apple is considering a new inexpensive 9.7-inch iPad priced at around US$259 for 2018, according to sources from related upstream suppliers, which added that the device should be able to attract more demand from price-oriented consumers, allowing Apple to maintain its present 10 million-unit tablet shipments a quarter,” Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai report for DigiTimes.

Chen and Tsai report, “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.”

MacDailyNews Take: This is incorrect. Apple posted year-over-year iPad unit sales growth for each of the last two reported quarters:
• Q317: 11.42 million (vs. Q316: 9.95 million)
• Q417: 10.33 million (vs. Q416: 9.27 million)

Chen and Tsai report, “The sources pointed out that Apple’s new iPad may arrive in the second quarter of 2018 and in addition to regular consumers Apple is also looking to expand the inexpensive iPad into the industrial and service sectors.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If so, the days of 25+ million iPad units sold per quarter look set to return!

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

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

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


  1. Sometimes I think Tim Cook just reads MDN and, when he follows their advice, excellent results follow.

    MacDailyNews, 1/6/17: 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.

    That’s exactly what Apple did 3.5 months later and look what happened: SUCCESS for iPad again, finally!

    1. Depends on which phone. Lower end iPad, then compare to lower end iPhone, like the SE.
      Plus, no one is forcing anyone to buy a $1,000 Android phone.
      Choice, every has a choice.

      1. It probably sounds silly, but the iPhone X introduction kind of prompted an identity crisis in me. I’ve always been a premium phone buyer, happy to spend $700 on a high end (pocketable) iPhone. But $1150 on a fragile phone just feels irresponsible to me. So I passed. But I don’t really see that price ever dropping, unfortunately. So apparently I’ve become a non-premium iPhone buyer, relegated to outdated products.
        Is it weird that the prices on old iPhones didn’t drop this year? Has that ever happened before? Please tell me next year they won’t still be selling the iPhone X (gen 1) for $1149 and the iPhone X (gen 2) for more.

    2. Yeah, it certainly is _strange_ how the classical rules of manufacturing (economies of scale, declining incremental costs, etc) apply to the iPad and not the sells-even-more-units iPhone, isn’t it?

      Funny too how there were just some MDN’ers last week trying to defend the report that the iPhone SE replacement is going to be ~$450, which is +30% more expensive than Apple’s current $349 price.

      Perhaps the iPhone Division needs someone from the iPad Division to take over, so as to show them how manufacturing supply chains become more efficient & lower cost over time & product evolutions (wish I wasn’t being sarcastic).

      In any case, the iPad product line has, with the Pro versions, effectively priced itself out of its target demographic “media consumer” segment.

      Indeed, we had been one of those households who flipped iPads as they came out, but for our use case (primarily media consumption), the hardware did hit a “good enough” plateau – we subsequently run a Retina (2012) and an Air (2013) pretty much to (battery) EOL.

      In looking this fall for their replacements, the ‘iPad Pro’ models simply were too “stupidly expensive” for us to really accept them for our consumption-centric use case, so we’ve ended up buying two of the current “basic” models: Black Friday sales put them at pretty much this same ~$250/unit price point that’s alleged to be the future.

      In the meantime, we’ve also been waiting for a post-trashcan Mac Pro to de-vaporware. Once again, it is not about the cost, but if the product represents a suitably appropriate value for the use case.

  2. Just what I want – a cheap iPad. Probably designed with inferior non-Retina screen and minuscule 16 GB storage. The thought of any iPad without a Retina screen and minimum 128 GB makes me want to puke.

    1. It’ll be Retina. The current $329 iPad has a 9.7-inch Retina display. Apple will not go backwards on that. As production increases component costs go down.

      (Brought to you by Carl’s Jr.)

    2. There are plenty of uses for iPads with moderately low storage and modest screens. I would certainly be interested in low cost iPads for home automation purposes and to keep them in certain places, such as having one mounted in my kitchen. I also see a lot of parents letting young children use their iPads. If I had young children, I’d prefer to let them use a cheap iPad than my iPad.

      Many of us who already have iPads could find plenty of uses for a second one.

      1. Still using a 1st gen iPad in the kitchen. Calendar, Reminders and Contacts still sync with iCloud. Music works and this is the old version that has Podcasts in it. Still better than the separate app. Photostream still syncs also. Mail works if needed but not using now.

        Recipe app “Paprika” still syncs with their servers. This is the main App used on it.
        TomTom app only just this summer stopped updates for the old version.
        I keep thinking about upgrading it, but for a central info screen in the kitchen, it does great.

        1. I’ve been using my gen 1 iPad Mini a lot more recently after buying a Logitech keyboard/stand/cover and a Mountie to attach the Mini to my Macbook Air. My 16GB are almost maxed out and it’s not a retina screen, but it’s a champ for Safari, Kindle, YouTube, Twitter, Scrivener, Pocket, Clear and the Polish-English Dictionary. For 5-year-old tech it’s doing great.

          1. If you are looking for basic transportation that will be used primarily by your grandmother, a Porche 911 is overkill. A basic Chevy will do just fine for her, and so will an early iPad.

  3. IPads we have today are tempting but to my mind it’s what they should have been at least two years ago so despite mine being years old and the fact I use it still all the time. I am only beginning to think I might replace it and certainly not till the next iteration.

  4. Most consumers will likely settle for Amazon’s Fire HD 10 with Alexa which is far less expensive. Apparently, most consumers would rather have a lot of low-cost Amazon products than higher-cost Apple products.

    Wall Street certainly believes Amazon’s business model is more solid than Apple’s business model, so there must be something to that. It only goes to show consumers are less interested in high-quality and will usually go for the lower-quality, less-expensive product.

  5. My 81-year-old mom had already been using an iPhone for a while when I lended her my old iPad Air 16GB a couple of months ago for her to try while traveling, suggesting that the bigger screen would be helpful when texting and using email. (I first updated the iPad to iOS 11.) She gave it a try.

    Now she wants to take the iPad on her next trip and has been shooting me questions. The latest question was about playing MP3 files posted on a web site by her church choir director to help choir members learn their parts outside rehearsals.

    Well then, I’ve just now told her that the iPad is hers to keep. She’s thrilled, and I’m delighted that she can make use of it.

    Starter iPads have their place. And never underestimate Mom.

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