In March last year, Apple quietly released several new products. So we wouldn't be surprised if the electronics giant eschewed a formal event again in 2018. However, with rumors of a new iPad (or two) swirling on the horizon, we're betting that Apple won't skip its spring event this year.
No matter what Apple has planned, we're certain that now is not the time to buy an iPad.
Apple Could Unveil 2 New iPads
Apple has trimmed its iPad lineup quite a bit in the last few years. Currently, there are four versions: the iPad Pro in two sizes, the iPad that was meant to replace the iPad Air 2, and the iPad mini 4. Last year is when the iPad was introduced, sporting a 9.7" screen and a cheaper price tag. The smaller iPad Pro was also introduced in 2017.
Apple seems prepped to release two new models, according to information filed with the Eurasian Economic Commission. Although model identifiers are included, it's not obvious if they'll be entirely new slates, or simply updates for existing models. 9to5Mac believes we're more likely to see updates to the iPad mini 4 and the iPad line.
Expect Cheaper iPads Soon
If trends follow what we saw with the mini 3, we could see the mini 4 drop in price as little as week after the new iPad announcement. The smallest discount we could expect to see on the mini 4 is 30% off, which would drop it to $279. Considering we've already seen it fall to $275, this is more than reasonable for the WiFi model. If the WiFi + LTE model drops similarly, it'll be around $370.
If we see heftier discounts (a strong possibility for the WiFi model), then the deepest cut we can expect is 50% off. That would be $199. The mini 4 is going on three years old; even so, that seems a bit optimistic. It's more likely the mini 4 will land between $220 and $250.
Since the iPad that replaced the Air 2 is already on the lower end of the price spectrum, we don't expect to see significant discounts for it. It would probably be reasonable to see the iPad fall to around $230, at most.
It's worth noting that the secondary Apple market seems to be thriving. We tend to see a large number of deals on refurbished iPads. Over the last year, about 50% of the deals on iPads we saw were for refurbished models.
AirPods Could Also Get an Update
In other gadget news, Apple is expected to announce a major update to its AirPods soon — and some experts think it'll involve Siri support. Additionally, the AirPower wireless charging mat was announced last year, and it's allegedly slated for release this year. We could see pricing and availability announced during a spring event.
Although some rumors have indicated we could see a new Apple Watch this month. However, we're betting that it'll be just be Watch bands. Major updates to the Watch seem more likely to come in September, along with new iPhone announcement. As for MacBooks, Apple hasn't announced a new notebook in March since the early-2015 model of the 13" MacBook Pro.
The iPad Pro Isn't Doing Well
The iPad Pro was introduced in November of 2015, but it hasn't taken off. Most media outlets declared it an abject failure. Some even suspected the failing tablet was why the company decided to update its notebook lineup.
That said, Apple has been dealing with declining tablet sales for a few years now. It seems that last year they were able to turn things around... by introducing a newer, cheaper model. The 2017 iPad starts at $329, which is the cheapest starting point for any new iPad.
So where does that leave the Pro? Rumors suggest we might see new iPad Pros later this year, but we're not holding our breath.
Readers, are you excited for two new iPads? Perhaps you're stoked for a price drop on one of the older models? Let us know in the comments below.