Apple surprised many industry observers by not raising the price of its latest iPhones this year.
But just about everything feels at least a bit more expensive lately with inflation. Is it any surprise that your next tablet may be a little pricier, too?
(Penny pinchers, take note: Apple still sells that older, cheaper iPad for $329, the same as it cost when it first went on sale.)
We blind-tested the new MacBook Air. It felt a lot like the old one.
Even so, Apple’s latest launch comes when some gadgets — even ones that have been available for months and years — have gotten more expensive. In early August, Facebook owner Meta began charging an additional $100 for its Quest 2 virtual reality headset — a product that had cost $299 since it launched in the fall of 2020. Later that month, Sony announced that the hard-to-find PlayStation 5 would get a price hike in certain countries outside the United States. And most recently, Nothing — a consumer gadget start-up headquartered in London — has said its $99 Ear (1) wireless earbuds will soon sell for $149 because of “an increase in costs.”
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Even so, Apple’s latest sub-$500 tablet still relies on older parts first seen in other devices. Its A14 Bionic processor, for example, made its debut in the iPhone 12 circa 2020. And if you want to use this iPad for sketching or note-taking, you’ll have to use Apple’s original Pencil — a long, slender Bluetooth stylus that hasn’t changed since its release in 2015.
(The kicker: if you already own one of those Pencils, you’ll have to buy a $9 adapter to connect it to this iPad.)
Apple seems to be betting that the changes packed into this iPad will get people to gloss over the price difference this holiday season, but shifts in the tablet market may keep that from happening. Demand for tablets shot through the roof during the first full year of the pandemic, which isn’t surprising — people were hunkering down at home to keep themselves (and their families) connected.
Since then, though, people’s zeal for tablets has cooled — a recent report from research firm IDC foresees the market for these kinds of gadgets shrinking slightly over the next year. And because costs for essentials like housing, fuel, and groceries remain high, people may be more sensitive than ever to how much they’re spending on their nice-to-haves like tablets.
That could also impact how people look at Apple’s new iPad Pros, unveiled Tuesday. These new high-end models use the same M2 processor found in some of the company’s recent laptops and include a new “hover” feature for Apple Pencil users. Prices for Apple’s Pro iPad models begin at $799 — that’s certainly nothing to sneeze at, but that starting price remains the same as last year.
Our advice? Take a breath and wait before pulling the trigger on any pricey tech purchase, especially before the holidays — you never know when a good deal might rear its head.
Shanique Taylor is an expert writer with over 150 publications on several blogs and websites before she joined our team at DailyTechFeed. Shanique specializes in Lifestyle, Health, and News articles. Shanique Taylor is also a web expert and keeps us running.