Apple is updating its iPad lineup with a new entry-level 9.7 inch model with a starting price of $329, which means it’ll be the most affordable tablet available from the Apple Store when the new model goes on sale Friday, March 24th.

That’s because Apple is dropping the iPad 2 and iPad mini 2, and only selling iPad mini 4 models with 128GB of storage or more, leaving you with these choices:

  • iPad 9.7″ for $329 and up (32GB or 128GB)
  • iPad mini 4 for $399 and up (for 128GB)
  • iPad Pro 9.7″ for $599 and up (32GB, 128GB, or 256GB)
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ for $799 and up (32GB, 128GB, or 256GB)

The new 9.7 inch model has a 2048 x 1536 pixel display, an Apple A9 processor, up to 10 hours of battery life, an 8MP rear camera, a 1.2MP front camera, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

It measures about 0.3 inches thick, weighs about 1 pound, and Apple says you should able to get up to 10 hours of battery life from the tablet’s 32.4 Wh battery.

Apple offers 32GB and 128GB models and you can opt for a WiFi-only model (with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 support) or pay extra for a version with 4G LTE support for all major US wireless carriers.

Apple has also launched new red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models, and updated the iPhone SE: now you can buy that model with 32GB or 128GB of storage for the same price as the previously available 16GB and 64GB versions.

What I find particularly fascinating about this move is that while Apple isn’t exactly selling $100 iPad models to compete with low-end Android tablets, it’s getting tougher and tougher to think of the iPad as premium brand when Apple’s product lineup covers such a wide range of price points. Meanwhile, Samsung is still hoping people will be willing to pay iPad Pro-like prices for premium Android tablets.

press release

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7 replies on “Apple’s new 9.7 inch iPad sells for $329 and up”

  1. Just get the iPad Air 2. The Air 2’s A8X has the same all out speed as the new iPad’s A9. The A9’s single core speed is faster, but the A8X has more cores.

  2. The iPad is officially dead. This “update” makes sense from Apple’s point of view, but it’s terrible for (conscious) consumers.

  3. New Leadership and a market that Apple thinks it can dominate (unlike macOS/laptops)… they have done the unthinkable – compete on price. Given slumping mobile sales overall, it reeks of desperation BUT… the good kind for the consumer.

    This is going to send a shiver down the conformist spines of Android Premium devices (those that copy price but add little else of value). I say it’s about time Apple got out of it’s comfort zone, even if they were forced out by market forces and their own cannibalization of macOS/devices.

    1. It probably will be a bit of a blow to Samsung’s new tablets.
      For me personally I’m in the market for either a new tablet or new Chromebook. And this price is turning my head. I’m on the fence.
      The issue is it would be for a multi user household to stand a few different duties. Android allowing multiple sign-ins on a device is a big advantage. All in all while it’s something I’ll consider I’m also still considering Nvidia’s Android tablet. While that device is a couple years old and in many ways outclassed by this new ipad for similar money, the Nvidia tablet is more flexible in ways that might suit my needs more.
      I will be reading reviews on this when they come though. Also wondering what retailers like Target, who traditionally discount hard on ipads around the holidays, will do with this device.

  4. It’s pretty interesting that Apple entered a price fray for ipad.
    Meanwhile I wonder how all those specs – and the ones not listed like just how good is that screen – compare and contrast to previous ipad models.

  5. That’s not a bad deal at all, especially compared to the Tab 3. I might get it refurbished and / or used later on.

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