Apple’s next entry-level iPad has been the subject of many articles so far this year, many expecting a total overhaul of the design and updated internal hardware while retaining its market leading price of $329 when in launches at the rumored October event. Here is everything we know so far about Apple’s latest and least expensive iPad in the lineup.
According to alleged schematics published by MySmartPrice, the 10.2-inch entry level iPad will be replaced with a new 10.5-inch iPad, powered by the A14 Bionic, feature optional 5G and a USB-C port for the first time. The A14 Bionic received a 30 percent performance boost over the A13 Bionic that powered the iPad Air 4 and iPhone 12 and the newer chip will help to further conserve battery life. Apple will need to add more RAM to this model if the company wants to support the new iPadOS 16 multitasking feature Stage Manager. Both the iPhone 12 and iPad Air 4 have 4GB of RAM, Apple says however that the Stage Manager feature requires the M1 chip and 8GB of RAM. As a recap, Stage Manager is a new feature coming with the iPadOS 16 update this fall that enables users to open and interact with multi app windows at once.
Additionally, the schematics show what the new iPad could look like. The design brings the entry-level iPad up-to-date while retaining its beloved circular Touch ID button but getting a decidedly more up-to-date look, renders based on schematics.
While nearly all of the current iPhone and iPad models currently available support 5G, the cellular versions of the 9th-gen iPad still only support LTE. We can presume however that with the inclusion of the A14 Bionic, Apple’s first 5G supported chip, that the 10th-gen iPad will support 5G as well as an optional Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
The design will also feature upgraded audio with the addition of a quad speaker setup. The camera looks like it may be getting an upgrade of sorts, although details are currently scarce. It looks like it will retain the single camera sensor but the camera bump will now include the microphone hole. It looks like the iPad will also lose its headphone jack too. As mentioned above, this new iPad will feature USB-C, bringing it in-line with the rest of the iPad model lineup.
While the design of the iPad is getting a major update the display looks like it will by very similar to the 9th-generation iPad, but could grow from 10.2-inches to 10.5-inches, matching the size of the very first iPad Pro that still featured a Touch ID home button. Given current economic circumstances, the current $329 price of the entry-level iPad could increase by the time the 10th-generation model launches this fall, marking the first time this has occurred since the launch of the cheaper parts bin model. It isn’t currently clear if there will be more than 2 colors at this time since the current lineup includes just silver and space gray.
The 10th-generation iPad is expected to be launched at one of two Apple will hold this fall. One event in September will include the launch of the iPhone 14 series, Apple Watch Series 8, the other event in October will be to launch new Mac models and most likely the next-gen iPad Pro models powered by Apple’s latest M2 chip. It isn’t clear yet which Apple event the entry-level 10th-gen iPad will be launched at but given past product launches and the delay of iPadOS 16 till October, our money is on the October event.