iPad with a bundled keyboard for under US$500: Apple supposedly canceled a cheap iPad with a plastic back
Apple recently launched the 10th gen iPad at a starting price of US$449 for a Wi-Fi only 64 GB model. Unfortunately, the tablet doesn’t come with the new Magic Keyboard Folio in the box, and you’ll have to shelve another US$249 for the accessory. So, anyone looking for a low-cost alternative to Chromebooks or Microsoft Surface Go 3 from within the Apple ecosystem will likely be disappointed. Apple insider Mark Gurman now alleges that Apple had planned to produce, at least internally, a cheap plastic iPad.
In the latest edition of his weekly PowerOn newsletter, Gurman, explaining Apple’s confusing iPad strategy, reports that “Apple internally considered launching an iPad with a plastic back and plastic keyboard that ships together in one box for under $500”. Apple ultimately scrapped the plan and with it went “Apple’s only real hope of ever giving Chromebooks a run for their money in most schools”.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any other information about the doomed iPad model. For instance, we don’t know whether the plastic iPad was meant to replace the entry-level iPad 10 or slot inside Cupertino’s existing tablet portfolio.