Apple Reportedly Considered Launching a Low-Cost iPad With a Plastic Chassis but Decided Against It

Omar Sohail
Apple Reportedly Considered Launching a Low-Cost iPad With a Plastic Chassis but Decided Against It

The ninth-generation iPad listed on Apple’s website currently starts from $329, is the most affordable tablet in the company’s lineup, and is made using premium materials such as aluminum. Despite a multitude of reports referring to the device as a low-cost model, it certainly is not made using ‘cheap’ materials.

However, an all-metal iPad lineup may not have existed as the company reportedly thought of using plastic as a way of bringing down that price further and competing with other products. It looks like Apple refrained from going down this path in an attempt to offer customers the best hardware it can manufacture, with the best materials available.

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The Plastic iPad Would Have Competed With Low-Cost Chromebooks in Order to Make a Dent in Schooling Market

Apple’s team apparently discussed bundling a plastic iPad with a low-cost keyboard accessory and selling it as a single package for under $500, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In the ‘Power On’ newsletter, the idea was to take the battle to Chromebooks, taking market share away from those machines and possibly making the iPad the new standard in the classroom.

“This is why Apple internally considered launching an iPad with a plastic back and plastic keyboard that ships together in one box for under $500. The idea was seemingly abandoned, but that was probably Apple’s only real hope of ever giving Chromebooks a run for their money in most schools.”

Apple’s launch history has only comprised of products that come bundled with chargers, earphones, or cables. Never was there a time when the company bundled an entire keyboard, which is quite the opposite of other companies such as Samsung, a firm that continues to provide a boatload of freebies for early adopters when it unveils new products.

Apple’s current strategy could revolve around creating a demand for customers where they believe that the product itself is rife with quality and that they should purchase different and pricey accessories to get the best experience possible.

The iPad 10, which was supposed to be the ‘affordable’ successor to the iPad 9, features a starting price of $449, and to complete that experience of ‘replacing’ your laptop, customers need to purchase another Magic Keyboard Folio, which costs $249, along with an Apple Pencil (1st generation) for $99.

Customers are not required to pick up these accessories, and some of them could upgrade to the latest model predominantly for media consumption while using a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard to get some productivity work on it. Suppose Apple had started providing a low-cost iPad that was made of plastic. In that case, it is possible this inexpensive material would slowly have made its way to other products in an attempt to target more customers, but at the expense of quality hardware.

Should Apple start bundling better accessories with its products at a more attractive price? Tell us in the comments.

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