It really was much ado about nothing in the media leading up to an education-focused event Apple didn’t even live-stream yesterday. Yes, there’s a new low-cost iPad up for grabs, but it’s available at the same exact price as its predecessor, with the same unmistakable design, and very few notable changes under the hood.
That said, if you want a compact, relatively affordable 9.7-incher with Apple Pencil support and A10 Fusion processing power, you can order the brand-new sixth-gen device directly from its manufacturer or walk into a Verizon or T-Mobile store and pick one up.
The two carriers are excited to announce the new 9.7-inch iPad (apparently, that’s the official name) will be available nationwide both on and offline starting Friday, March 30. That’s a few days earlier than Apple’s first batch of deliveries from its own official US e-store, and AT&T can’t promise it’ll be able to ship the $460 and up iPad before April 2 either.
$459.99, of course, is the price of a cellular-enabled variant with 32GB storage, while the same always-connected model providing 128 gigs of digital hoarding room will set you back $559.99. A Wi-Fi-only new 9.7-inch iPad costs $329.99, and the Apple Pencil is sold separately for $99.
Whichever configuration you’re thinking of purchasing, it may be worth doing business with Best Buy, where the latest iPad generation is bundled with a complimentary $25 e-gift card. That’s not much of a freebie, but trust us, it’s the best you’ll find in the foreseeable future.