The 9.7-inch iPad Pro fills a gap in Apple's iPad product line between the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro, starting at $799, and the iPad Air 2 which started at $499 prior to the price cut. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599 for the Wi-Fi only 32GB model.
If Apple was hoping that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro would reverse the drop in quarterly iPad shipments, it really must harbor these hopes for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Still, the overall tablet market is fragile enough at this point that Apple expects to see more demand for the iPad Air 2, thanks to a price cut. Unlike smartphone buyers, those purchasing tablets seem to be immune to some of the things that drive phone sales, such as specs. There is no two-year replacement cycle in the tablet market.