Apple has introduced a new cheaper iPad at its education event in Chicago. Apple has announced a refreshed 9.7-inch iPad aimed at schools in the United States with Apple Pencil support and a cheaper price tag compared to last year’s iPad. Surprisingly, the newly announced iPad will be available across Apple stores starting today. The new tablet will be up for purchase in three colour options- space gray, silver and an all-new gold variant. The introduction of gold-coloured iPad also gives us an indication that the iPhone X will also be made available in a new gold colour very soon.
Last year, Apple took a major step by launching the iPad at $329 and this year it’s going to be even cheaper, but sadly, only for students and teachers. For students, the 2018 Apple iPad 9.7-inch model will be available at $299 (approx. Rs 19,500), while for the normal consumers, it will retail for the same $329 (approx. Rs 21,400). And the same applies to Apple Pencil as students & teachers can get it for $89 (approx. Rs 5,800) and for normal users, it will be available at the same steep price of $99 (approx. Rs 6,432).
Apple was rumoured to launch the same iPad at $259 outright for all the users, but still, the iPad 9.7-inch 2018 model packs enough hardware for the asking price. The new tablet from the Cupertino giant has support for Touch ID (placed to the front), HD FaceTime camera, 8MP rear camera, LTE option (a bonus for students) and the Apple A10 Fusion chipset which powered the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus smartphones in the past.
However, what’ surprising is that Apple did not lower the price of its keyboard and the entire package of iPad, Apple Pencil and Keyboard still sets you (or students) back by $450. With Chromebook models getting first priority from educational institutions, it will be tough for Apple to stand tall in the segment. Just yesterday, Acer introduced a new Chromebook (Acer Chromebook Tab 10) carrying $329 price tag, and it offers excellent features for the asking price. Having said that, Google is said to introduce Chrome OS tablets for as low as $299, which will put Apple’s new iPad in a spot of bother.
Apple is already lagging behind both Google and Microsoft in the US schools because cheaper Chromebooks are currently ruling the market with 60% share. However, Apple is looking to bank on users with its unique user experience. Today, Apple introduced multi-user support, allowing multiple students to use a single iPad. And there are several other (200,000, to be precise) apps available on the App Store made for education, which explains the entire story on how Apple is focussed towards delivering the best user experience.