According to a report, an internal Apple project to create a lower-cost iPad with a keyboard in the box was abandoned.
Because Apple’s latest iPad launch has had the strange effect of making last year’s model appear more compelling, a new report claims that a different launch could have occurred.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple considered producing a less expensive iPad, but he does not specify when this occurred.
Gurman claims that an iPad plus Magic Keyboard Folio would cost $700, putting the entire package out of most students’ budgets.
“This is why Apple considered internally launching an iPad with a plastic back and plastic keyboard that ships together in one box for under $500,” he wrote. “Although the idea appears to have been abandoned, it was probably Apple’s only real hope of ever giving Chromebooks a run for their money in most schools.”
Gurman has no further information. While Apple may have opted against a $500 iPad and keyboard bundle, it has effectively created a $508 one.
Apple is still selling the well-received ninth-generation iPad 2021 for $329, and it is compatible with the Smart Keyboard, which costs $179 separately.
There’s no word on whether Apple will refer to it as “unapologetically plastic,” as it did with the iPhone 5c.