Apple launch next week, is a low-cost iPad on the way?

WWDC may be the next place you expect a new Apple product, but we might even see something sooner, as Apple takes a field trip to a school in Chicago next week to talk tech.

There’s little doubt that Apple’s iPad is one of the most successful tablets around, and in a world where the Android tablet is beginning to disappear, this is even more important. While it was originally created for content consumption, the iPad is capable of doing so much more, and it’s something that has helped creatives push their tablets to new levels.

But there’s one thing stopping the creative iPad user from being everyone: cost.

Yes, the properly creative edition of the iPad — the iPad Pro — is not a cheap gadget, and unless you have close to a thousand dollars, you’re not going to end up getting one.

That’s a bit of a problem if you happen to be a student and want to make use of that cool keyboard and purpose-filled Pencil, because you may not be able to pony up the case to buy one, but that might not be an issue from next week onwards.

Apple has sent out invites for an event next week on March 27, and as usual, there’s a hint or two in the image used as the invite.

While the only words suggest American journalists are about to take a field trip — that’s an excursion for Aussies — the path of the writing and the drawing of the Apple logo suggests the use of the Apple Pencil, the optional extra for the iPad Pro that lets you draw, write, and scribble with ease.

That might not be all that interesting initially, but when you factor in this launch is at a school, and you realise gadgets for school tend to be inexpensive to accommodate students, it starts to get interesting. If the image is supposed to be a hint, we might be seeing a new generation of iPad Pro launched next week, possibly to cater for a less expensive price bracket.

Devices like the Apple iPad 9.7 already accomplish this, albeit without support for the Apple Pencil, so we could be seeing a generation of that, or even possibly a new generation of the 7.9 inch iPad Mini, a device that hasn’t seen an update in quite some time, and could be a perfect size for students especially if the price can stay down.

Alternatively, we could be seeing a new MacBook with a touchscreen and support for the Apple Pencil. This one seems unlikely as Apple has long held onto the idea that its touchscreen computer is the iPad, but the rumour for this is circulating enough at the moment that it might be a possibility, albeit a slim one as it is.

We’ll let you know when we know, though, so look out next week. And if you’re thinking of buying an iPad, maybe hold off until Wednesday to see if Apple is launching a new tablet.

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