Apple is apparently planning to launch a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad with the Pencil stylus support. The information comes straight from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note, seen by MacRumors, Kuo wrote that he expects the new 9.7-inch iPad will work with Apple Pencil. Apple supports Pencil on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple’s next-generation iPad is expected to launch at an education-focused event in Chicago on March 27.
The low-cost 9.7-inch iPad will replace the fifth-generation iPad which currently lacks Apple Pencil support. The analyst believes that the forthcoming 9.7-inch iPad will account for 70 per cent of total iPad sales in 2018. Kuo is well known for accurately predicting details about Apple’s upcoming devices way ahead of schedule. Kuo also says that he expects Apple Pencil sales to climb to 10 million units, up from 4.5 million last year. The $99 (or approx Rs 6437) Apple Pencil can be used for drawing, sketching or simply jotting down notes on the iPad.
Many analysts, including Kuo, believe that the arrival of Apple Pencil support will differentiate the new 9.7-inch iPad from a bevy of low-cost Android tablets. The 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil is also designed to compete with Google’s Chromebooks, and Microsoft’s low-end Windows 10 laptops.
Apple wants to target high-school and middle school-aged students with its upcoming low-cost 9.7-inch iPad and perhaps why it is holding a keynote event at Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep High School. The last time the company held an education-focused event was six years ago. Besides a low-cost iPad, Apple is also expected to launch an entry-level MacBook Air with Retina Display. The MacBook Air, which was originally launched in 2008, hasn’t been updated for a while now. The rumoured MacBook Air is likely to cost less than $1000 (or approx Rs 65,025).