We've been wondering what Apple will do to make its next low-cost iPad stand out (apart from the price). And now we can have an answer: it could be compatible with the stylus. As of now, only iPad Pro models support it.
The rumor comes from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who wrote in a note obtained today by MacRumors, that "the new low-priced 9.7-inch iPad … is probably compatible with Apple Pencil." Kuo believes that Apple could want to do this as a way to "differentiate it more from low-priced Android tablets".
Stylus support is common among Chromebooks in schools
Kuo has been one of the most trusted voices in Apple's rumors when it comes to hardware, but it's not clear how definitive it is in this case. For example, it does not say that the new iPad will have a screen with a high refresh rate (like the Pro models), which would be a clear signal that you will get support for the stylus. Then it is possible that he is only guessing here.
Still, it's a decent assumption. Apple is supposed to announce the iPad at an event next Tuesday, and its invitation to the event was clearly scribbled with the pencil. On top of that, pen support is common among the kind of inexpensive Chromebooks that end up in schools; If Apple wants to compete with them, feature by feature, allowing pen support would be a natural choice.
There is another possibility here: in his note, Kuo talks about the "new 9.7-inch low-priced iPad" as the successor to iPad last year. It is very possible that Apple has multiple cheap iPad models, one at the price of $ 259 per education, and an updated model of the current price of $ 329 that wins Pencil support. That would explain Kuo's suggestion that he compete with Android tablets (which are not really something in schools), and the fact that he says mass production will start in the second quarter. If Apple plans to announce new iPads tomorrow, it is very likely that production has already begun.