New iPad model rumored to start at $599, same 32/128GB tiers as iPad Pro

By , Mar 18, 2016

iPad Air 2 silver flat

According to a fresh new rumor based on sources familiar with the matter, Apple’s upcoming iPad model, describes as either a third-generation iPad Air with the A9X chip, Smart Connector and Apple Pencil support or a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro, is expected to start at $599 for a baseline Wi-Fi-only model with thirty-two gigabytes of storage. In addition, as reported by 9to5Mac, the device should be offered in the same 32/128GB configurations as the iPad Pro.

By comparison, the baseline iPad Air 2 model with sixteen gigabytes of storage starts at $499. The 32/128GB iPad Pro is $799/$949, or $1,079 for the top-of-the-line 128GB model with Wi-Fi and cellular support.

The report doesn’t mention a possible price point for a more capacious model with 128GB of storage and the ability to connect to LTE cellular networks.

“The 9.7-inch iPad Pro model will not replace the iPad Air 2 line, which will remain in Apple’s tablet portfolio for a likely $499 price,” as per 9to5Mac. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the iPad mini 4 won’t be updated at Apple’s event, sources claim.

Apple is scheduled to hold a media event on Monday, March 21. In addition to a new iPad model, the rumor-mill is expecting a four-inch iPhone SE refresh, new Apple Watch bands and updates to Apple’s operating systems.

Source: 9to5Mac

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  • James G

    Typical pre Apple nonsense. “Leak” a higher price then come out at the same price it’s been for 6 years. They won’t keep base model iPad Air 2 at $499. This is a business they’re struggling to maintain sales velocity.

  • TJ

    Tough decision. I’d be happy to swap my iPad Air 2 for a 9.7 inch iPad Pro based on the rumoured spec and features, but the only thing that would require some serious thinking is the storage options. I use a 64GB model at the moment and that’s fine, currently using 47.7GB. So do I cut down and manage with 32GB which in theory I could probably do or spend the extra and get 128GB which would be overkill and half of which I’d probably never use. Wish they’d offer a 64GB option for the rumoured new iPad Pro, the jump from 32GB to 128GB is a bit silly.

    • Linton Findlay

      id recommend getting the larger size with the ever increasing size of apps ect haha. I opted for 32 cellular, instead of 64 wifi and regret it

    • xoFoxtail

      I bought the 128gb iPad Pro just in case. To which, I’m very glad I did.currently using only 34gb, but with Spring approaching, I’m going to be out a lot more with my camera and drawing landscapes, space will start to fill up then before I can get things on an external drive.

  • Blip dude

    You know, when the iPad Mini got a base model price bump to $399 (from $329), it also a spec bump to the latest (A5 to A7) and was essentially a smaller version of the iPad Mini. It seems like Apple learned their lesson with the stupid attempt of only adding Touch ID and a gold color option to the iPad Mini 3. And now these stupid rumors expect people to believe that Apple will add 6 month old spec, slap a pro moniker to the Air and raise the price $100, and remove the option for 64GB?? Wow, talk about taking a step backwards, though I guess that’s the point here.

    I’m actually hoping they keep it as “iPad Air” exclude 1 or 2 big features of the iPad Pro, add a Rose Gold option, and keep it at the same price. Is 9to5mac the only ones that came up with this rumor. If so, then I’ll remain a bit doubtful about the price bump for mid-cycle specs.

  • This totally makes sense and goes in the way I was explaining on the last couple episodes of Let’s Talk iOS. iPad Air 2 stays where it’s at, at the same price. And now you have a more powerful model at a $100 more.

    You have iPad Air 2 16gb at $499, iPad Air 2 64gb at $599, and new iPad 32 FB at $599. For the same price, Apple will ask you “do you want more storage space, or less storage and a more powerful machine”?

    • Gary le

      And… Ipad pro + goes on sale a few times at best buy too (also ebay if u like them) on the low $700’s since its been out a few months already. So for a little over $100 more for a 32gb ipad pro + I would get the big one.

    • Blip dude

      No it doesn’t make sense. Shouldn’t the iPad Air 2 drop to $399, replacing iPad Air 1, and this new iPad starts at $499. That’s how it’s always been, so explain why you believe this makes sense. As another user just explained, anyone can get a 32gb iPad Pro for $799 or even $749 now, so why pick this over that deal??

      • For this to make sense for you, you have to stop thinking about the iPad Air 2 as an old device. Yes, technically it is, but spec-wise, it’s still a way more than capable device. I explain why it makes sense in a few words here

      • Blip dude

        You just proved my point about how this doesn’t make any sense.

        The average consumer will go for the 64 GB iPad Air 2, not a 32 GB iPad Pro, how is this doing the iPad any favors?? We will now have anywhere between 4-6 iPads in a lineup, further adding confusion because of all the fragmentations, how is this doing the iPad, considering Apple is losing money on, any favors?? Adding 6-month specs on a device, pricing it a $100 extra and reintroducing it on a 9.7 inch factor, how is it doing the iPad any favors??

        Apple tried pulling this stunt on the iPad Mini 3, did anyone actually forget?? You know, the device that was actually an iPad Mini 2, slapped gold and Touch ID and called it a brand new device. Did that do the iPad any favors?? But maybe you’re right, here’s to hoping people continue to buy an iPad Air 2 instead, so Apple stops pulling these stunts. Like you said, it is still good spec wise.

        Now maybe if Apple made an A10X chip for the iPad Pro and left the A9X chip for this new gen iPad Air, that would make sense. But now Apple is choosing to fragment instead. But no matter how you see it, and even if you believe it makes sense, this in the long run, will not do the iPad any favors. For $799, and some time on eBay, a MacBook Air will be more appealing.

      • 1. Apple is not losing money on iPad, and I doubt Apple is betting the farm of this new iPad Pro. It will just be another iPad in the lineup.

        2. You have to stop thinking from your tech-savvy guy point of view. Tech savvy people like you and me are not the main customers of Apple products. Your mom and my mom are the core customers.

        3. Average people who want a great iPad with a little more storage will get the iPad Air 2. Most people will have no idea when it came out and whether it is an old machine or a new one. For them, this is the latest iPad.

        4. People looking for more specs will get the iPad Pro. That’s for people who want the top of the line and don’t mind paying a little extra for it, hence the Pro moniker.

        5. You are correct that it makes the line more confusing. I think we actually discussed that on the last episode of Let’s Talk iOS. It is confusing, but it is also offering many more options that you would have had 3-4 years ago. More options is good because you can hit different piece points ( = different customers).

        6. My guess is iPad Air 2 will be the top selling iPad for the next year, or at least until it’s being downgraded and replaced by an iPad Air 3 or equivalent machine. As I said above, Apple doesn’t see the Pro version as a savior for the line. Just like the Mac Pro is by no means driving tons of sales for the Mac line.

  • Gary le

    Man the ipad pro + is on the low 700’s at times but the new ipad pro – is $599 so not a big difference in price.

  • JayDee917

    Basically they’re increasing the price of the iPad Air line by $100. I’m calling it what it is, an iPad Air 3.

    Giving us the ‘privilege’ of being able to spend an extra $269 (!!!) to add a keyboard and glorified stylus should NOT make this a Pro product. Apple’s ‘Pro’ iPad line is a terrible gimmick. A pro product should be able to run pro software, this runs the same apps as any other iPad. Stick OS X on it and we can agree on calling it an iPad Pro.

    Apple has just gotten greedy. This is what should have been the iPad Air 3, but instead Apple thought, “let’s stick a port on the side, call it an iPad Pro, charge $100 more and then charge them $170 to use that port!”


  • Will not upgrade my Air if Apple bumps the standard price by $100. I’ll wait another year or wait for a promo.

    • TJ

      the price isn’t being bumped. They’re introducing a smaller iPad Pro to the lineup, that’s all. If it comes in at $600 then it’s a smaller, cheaper option for any potential iPad Pro buyers. This isn’t meant as an upgrade, update, replacement for the current iPad Air 2.

      • Blip dude

        And honestly, considering they have been losing money, It should be an air replacement instead. Isn’t this fragmentation a bad thing?? How is it that re-introducing a 6 month old product in a smaller form factor and sell it for $100 more supposed to do the iPad any favors??

      • TJ

        It’s not $100 more expensive, it’s a cheaper iPad Pro! People need to stop thinking of this as a replacement for the iPad Air 2, which will still exist in the lineup as a separate product just as it is now. Apple my update the Air at some point, but it’s features will be different to that of the Pro and likely keep the same price tag.

        And why does the Air need an upgrade? It’s already more powerful than most people need and does everything the majority of users need it to, a slight spec bump wouldn’t make any difference beyond just doing it for the sake of it. I assume Apple will update it less frequently now seeing as people hang onto them longer and don’t upgrade as often.

      • Blip dude

        “And why does the Air need an upgrade?”

        Do you serious believe this stunt Apple is pulling now was not at one point called an iPad Air 3??

        You said “it’s not a $100 more expensive, it’s a cheaper iPad Pro,” but then said “it’s already more powerful,” but clearly the Air 2 is not as powerful as the pro now is it?? So yes, let’s just bring those 6-month old specs down to a 9.7 inch model, remove the Air name, slap the pro name instead and charge $100 more for it.

        “People need to stop seeing this as an Air replacement.” I’m sorry, but this in fact in Air replacement as of right now IF this turns out to be true come Monday morning (PST), and IF the Air gets no update in the future. This is a 9.7 inch tablet, something that people have been used to, an update that others have been waiting, just to be told they now need to pay more. I think some people need to stop seeing this as a new product with 6-month old specs. I think people need to stop accepting fragmentation especially on a product that is not doing well in sales!! Do you seriously believe that the average consumer will pick a 32GB iPad Pro 9.7 inch over a 64GB iPad Air 2, on top of a $99 stylus and $169 keyboard (maybe lower) to fully take advantage of the products features?? How will this help the iPad line out??

      • TJ

        How will this help the iPad line out? Well, people who aren’t buying an iPad today will go out next week and buy the new iPad Pro, thereby increasing sales. And yes, some people will buy an iPad Pro over the Air 2 and yes they will pay $99 for the Apple Pencil and $169 for the Smart Cover Keyboard.

        For those upgrading from older iPad models the Air 2 is still a powerful tablet with everything they could need. Why upgrade the Air every year? It’s already powerful enough for most people’s needs, probably too much for what some people use it for. For those looking for that extra power, Pencil support, keyboard, etc. there’s the Pro line. Pretty simple really, Apple’s been selling products this way with the Mac for a long time.

  • Burge

    And this is all a rumour don’t forget

  • wez3570

    I’ve had my 16gb air 2 now for almost 2 years. I want an upgrade.

    16gb has always been enough for me, I don’t store music or films locally and I don’t play games.

    If I’m forced to pay extra this time round for more storage and ‘pro’ features, I might start looking elsewhere.

    An iPad Air 3, 16gb for £399 is what I’m hoping for.