Apple planning new entry-level iPad for 2024, with a major change in production

Blue iPad (2022) laying screen side down with Apple Pencil
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

If you have been searching for a new cheap entry into the iPad world, you may finally get your wish next year as a brand new ‘low-end’ iPad is on the way. As Bloomberg originally reported, this is part of an effort to solve a ‘slump’ in iPad sales, which is related to a lack of new models in the last year. 

This week, a report by Nikkei Asia and attributed to ‘sources briefed on the matter’, reveals that Apple is currently attempting to move new product introduction for this iPad to Vietnam, from China. This is essentially the step in production where a company takes a blueprint and figures out how achievable it is on a grand scale, and if mass manufacturing is possible. 

Testing will allegedly begin in February 2024, with the launch of the product due to happen in the second half of 2024. According to Bloomberg's aforementioned article, a new OLED iPad Pro is due to launch next year, replacing the current best iPad, the mini-LED iPad Pro, but the Nikkei report claims that production on Apple’s ‘high-end’ tablet will not happen in Vietnam. 

Diversifying a portfolio – iMore’s take

Though the news of a new iPad is certainly welcome, Apple moving its new product introduction facilities to Vietnam is a big step for the company. In an interview with CNBC last week with the Apple silicon chip designers, Ben Bajarin, the CEO of principal analyst at Creative Strategies, talked about Apple’s reliance on Chinese manufacturing and expressed worries about long-term stability there. 

Regardless of how the relationship between Apple in the US and its Chinese counterparts looks, diversifying its manufacturing portfolio is an important step for any company and has the potential to form better relationships with more companies and can inspire creativity, which it may not have access to otherwise. 

Hopefully, this new ‘low-end’ iPad proves to be worth the effort. 2024 is shaping up to be more interesting than what 2023 brought for Apple’s tablet line. Apple's current "entry-level" iPad is technically the iPad 10 from 2022, however it got such a significant price increase that Apple also still sells the iPad 9 as its true budget option. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.