At a special event scheduled to take place in Chicago next week, Apple will reportedly introduce a more wallet-friendly 9.7-inch iPad in an effort to curry favor with educators who often make computing purchasing decisions based on economic considerations. Alongside a more affordable iPad, there are also rumblings that Apple next week will introduce some new pieces of software geared towards classroom use.
As to what features Apple’s forthcoming budget iPad might come with, it stands to reason that we won’t see Face ID or the inclusion of a next-gen processor. Remember, Apple reportedly wants its education-based tablet to compete on price, which is to say that some of the company’s more advanced technologies will likely not be included.
That said, a new research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) raises the possibility that Apple’s forthcoming iPad may include support for the Apple Pencil, all in an effort to better differentiate it from a selection of competing Android tablets in the same price range.
On a related note, Kuo is also of the mind that Apple Pencil sales could very well double this year, jumping from approximately 4.5 million in unit sales last year to upwards of 10 million in sales this year.
For what it’s worth, the invitation Apple sent out for its upcoming special event features an Apple logo that was seemingly created using the Apple Pencil.
As a final point, it’s worth mentioning that rumors of a low-cost iPad aren’t exactly new. This past December, a report emerged claiming that Apple was working on a 9.7-inch iPad priced at $300 or less. As it stands now, the cheapest iPad model Apple currently sells retails for $329.