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Home / News / Pro price bump? Report claims 9.7in iPad Pro will be pricier than Air 2

Pro price bump? Report claims 9.7in iPad Pro will be pricier than Air 2

More features, more money too? Sounds like it

Apple opted not to release a successor to the iPad Air 2 last autumn, skipping the usual annual upgrade cycle to focus on the launch of the larger 12.9in iPad Pro instead. But we should see a new 9.7in model next week at Apple’s spring event, alongside a 4in iPhone SE.

According to recent reports, the standard-sized iPad will also be newly rebranded as an iPad Pro, and bring along additional features from the larger model – such as the Smart Connector for a smaller Smart Keyboard model, as well as support for the Apple Pencil. Also now expected? A higher price than usual.

Apple has always sold its 9.7in iPad models for a starting price of US$499, and in the UK, they’ve carried a £399 tag since the iPad 2 (the original was £429). But 9to5Mac now reports that Apple plans to sell the smaller iPad Pro for US$599 for the smallest storage capacity in the States. Given Apple’s usual conversions for storage steps on previous models, that could put a UK price at £479.

At least you’re getting a little more for your money, and we’re not just talking about the Smart Connector and peripheral support: the report says the starting model should have 32GB of storage, as opposed to 16GB on the iPad Air 2. It should also have a brighter display, four stereo speaker openings, and a 12-megapixel back camera with 4K video recording capabilities.

In a time of dwindling tablet sales, it’s surprising that Apple might bump the price of its core iPad model – but at least the smaller Pro sounds like a pretty significant bump over the iPad Air 2, and the pricing will create more differentiation between the smaller Mini line and the full-sized Pro.

Actually, the biggest surprise of 9to5Mac’s report is that the iPad Air 2 might hang around at its typical US$499 price point for the 16GB model, or £399. While it’s still our favourite tablet on the market today, the introduction of the 9.7in Pro could make the full-priced Air 2 a dodgy value proposition for a year-and-a-half-old tablet with fewer features. We should find out for sure come Monday.

[Source: 9to5Mac]

Profile image of Andrew Hayward Andrew Hayward Freelance Writer


Andrew writes features, news stories, reviews, and other pieces, often when the UK home team is off-duty or asleep. I'm based in Chicago with my lovely wife, amazing son, and silly cats, and my writing about games, gadgets, esports, apps, and plenty more has appeared in more than 75 publications since 2006.

Areas of expertise

Video games, gadgets, apps, smart home

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