Comment: Apple should make a bigger version of the basic iPad to serve more customers

One of Apple’s hottest products is the $329 iPad. On the surface it looks unpleasant and almost boring. But it serves as a major entry point into the Apple ecosystem, and as a way to get iPad owners to upgrade every two years without spending an arm and a leg. It’s the best value Apple has to offer right now. The latest generation iPad of the 9th generation is, in my opinion, one of the best products that Apple makes. It has hardly any concessions for the price. But there are many of us who like the larger display option that doesn’t cost a fortune. After all, people love big screens and low prices.

When Apple introduced the larger 12.9-inch screen size in 2015, they considered it a special “Professional” feature. Apple often does this. Its professional products almost exclusively come with larger screens that their lower-tier counterparts do not have. But the truth is, customers today want bigger screens on all of their devices, and they want them at lower prices. I know Apple isn’t the company that makes cheap products, and that’s not what I’m defending. I’m saying that Apple should offer two sizes of the base iPad model to serve more customers.

Asking people to spend $770+ premium to get a 12.9-inch screen on the base iPad is astronomical. There are plenty of use cases for people who want or need a larger, more affordable iPad. The iPad is used by many people who have difficulties with vision and movement control. An iPad with a larger base can be hugely useful for people with vision problems, and being able to prop it up on a table and control it with accessories centered around accessibility can be huge.

10.2 inch iPad and 12.6 inch iPad Mockup

We know Apple is learning this lesson. The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini were pretty much a flop. It’s the least popular of the four major iPhone models. There’s a reason the company is planning to switch to offering a “Max” version of the standard iPhone next year rather than a small version. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are expected to come in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch models.

Let’s say Apple was going to offer a larger version of the basic iPad. What might it look like? For starters, it will have the same two-tone color schemes. Silver background with black front panel, plus an space gray option. No more gold. It probably does not have a laminated screen to save cost. It will also have the same 8MP camera that is suitable for quick shots, but not good enough to be used as a primary shooter.

In terms of recent features, it will take center stage and an ultra-wide front camera for video calls. It will have the same smart connector and compatibility with Apple Pencil. They can simply start making a 12.9-inch version of the textured smart keyboard cover. Of course, this new, larger iPad will pack an A13 Bionic chip in it. The iPad would be great value through and through, but with a much larger screen that allows everyone who owns a device to get more work done on it.

12.9-inch Smart Keyboard Cover for iPad Pro 1st and 2nd generation

The base model iPad is a great choice for students, both because of its affordable price but also because of its know-how. If Apple could offer an iPad with a larger screen but at less than $500, it would be a better option for students old and young.

In terms of screen size, I think Apple would opt for one that’s a little smaller than 12.9 inches. They did so with the current base iPad, opting for a 10.2-inch screen rather than giving it the 10.5-inch screen of the iPad Air (3rd generation) and iPad Pro (2nd generation). So a 12.6-inch screen would make a lot of sense here. It lays a clear distinction between the big, affordable iPad and the most expensive large iPad.

By adding a new size option for the base iPad, the company will be able to reconfigure the lineup to be more cohesive. It starts with the basic iPad in two sizes. 10.2 inches for the Magical $329 and the new 12.6 inches for $459. Apple can also combine the iPad mini and iPad Air into one product line in two sizes. When they inevitably update the iPad Air with new features that are currently only in the small size, they can certainly do so. And of course, at the top of the line are the M1 iPad Pro models.

At the end of the day, it seems to me that the best way to put together the iPad lineup is to offer better, better, better, all in two sizes.

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