Much Cheaper iPad Expected in 2018

Apple's $329 iPad is a pretty good deal, but a more affordable iOS slate may be on the horizon.

This news arrives from the Taiwanese tech site Digitimes, which reports that Apple is on a $259 iPad. Sized at 9.7-inches, this tablet is expected to launch in 2018 and would either replace or complement the $329 9.7-inch iPad that the company released this year (2017).

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According to sources from the supply chain, the goals of the new, more affordable slate are to reach "price-oriented consumers," "maintain [Apple's] present 10 million-unit tablet shipments a quarter" rate and expand sales to "industrial and service sectors."

One worrisome note in this report states that "Apple is likely to outsource the production of the new iPad," moving it from its current production lines to a company called Compal Electronics. If this more-affordable iPad does become a reality, we'll make sure to scrutinize its build quality to see if and where any corners were cut.

While the sources also said that they "expect the tablet market to witness a new wave of price competition among first-tier players including Samsung Electronics, Amazon, Huawei and Lenovo," it's hard to say anybody's truly competing with Amazon when it comes to the bottom line. The mega-retailer's $50 Fire tablet continues to be one of the most popular, thanks to its jaw-droppingly-low price.

And as for when exactly this tablet will arrive, it's pegged for the second quarter of 2018. Stay tuned to Laptop Mag for all news, tips and reviews related to the iPad and other tablets.

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