(Benny, note: Apple is still selling the older, cheaper iPad for $329, the same price it was when it first went on sale.)
Charging new models while continuing to sell older ones at a lower price is nothing new for Apple: it continues to sell the MacBook Air released at the end of 2020 for $999, even after it launched a stylish alternative for $1,199 earlier. . general.
However, Apple’s latest launch comes at a time when some gadgets – even those that have been available for months and years – are becoming more expensive. In early August, the Facebook Meta owner started charging an additional $100 fee for the Quest 2 virtual reality headset — a product that has cost $299 to start since its fall 2020 launch. Later that month, Sony announced that the PlayStation 5 Hard to find it will get a price hike in some countries outside the US. More recently, None – a London-based consumer device startup – said its $99 (1) wireless earbuds would soon sell for $149 due to “increased costs”.
Apple declined to comment on the pricing of its products. It is, said Anshel Sage, Principal Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy “Most likely due to overall increases in material and labor costs.”
In fairness, Apple’s new iPad differs markedly from the low-cost model released last year. Aside from the new colorful design, it features a larger 10.9-inch screen and supports 5G wireless networks (if you pay extra). There’s no Lightning port here either — the new iPad uses USB-C to charge and connect to accessories. And initially, this iPad has a front camera attached to one of its long edges to make some video calls — for example, those made when supported horizontally by a keyboard case — seem less daunting.
However, Apple’s latest under $500 tablet still relies on old parts first seen in other devices. For example, the A14 Bionic processor debuted in the iPhone 12 circa 2020. And in case you want to use this iPad for drawing or taking notes, you’ll have to use the original Apple Pencil – a long, slim Bluetooth stylus that hasn’t changed since its release in 2015.
(Kicking: If you already own one of these pencils, you’ll have to buy a $9 adapter to connect it to this iPad.)
Apple seems to be betting that the changes packaged in this iPad will have people cover up for the price difference this holiday season, but shifts in the tablet market may prevent that from happening. Demand for the tablets spread through the roof during the first full year of the pandemic, which isn’t too surprising — people were walking around the house keeping themselves (and their families) in touch.
Since then, though, people’s enthusiasm for tablets has waned — and a recent report from research firm IDC predicts the market for these types of gadgets. shrink a little over the next year. And because the costs of necessities like housing, fuel, and groceries remain high, people may be more sensitive than ever to how much they spend on cute things like tablets.
It may also affect the way people view Apple’s new iPad Pro, which was also revealed on Tuesday. These new high-end models use the same M2 processor found in some of the company’s recent laptops and include a new “hover” feature for Apple Pencil users. Prices for Apple Pro iPad models start at $799 — that’s certainly not something to sneeze at, but the starting price remains the same as last year.
Our advice? Take a breath and wait before you pull the trigger on any expensive tech purchase, especially before the holidays — you never know when a good deal might raise its head.
“Travel aficionado. Infuriatingly humble reader. Incurable internet specialist.”