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Apple’s most affordable iPad has seen some decent upgrades in recent years, but thoughts are turning towards the next iteration. What has Apple got in store for us in the 10th-gen version of the 10.2-inch iPad?
In this article we gather all the latest news, leaks and rumors about the highly anticipated new 10.2-inch iPad (rumored to be 10.5-inch), including release date, new features, design changes, tech specs, and pricing.
If renders obtained by MySmartPrice are accurate, Apple is gearing up to launch a new version of the standard iPad. The renders indicate that Apple’s low-end iPad will be getting a new design, including a larger screen, this year.
Apple has settled into a groove since the switch from the 9.7-inch iPad to the larger 10.2-inch format. Usually you’ll find them being unveiled in September, as you can see from the timing of the last few launches (see below):
With Apple holding an event on September 7 it is feasible we could see a new iPad in September, but a launch in October is more likely.
Mark Gurman of Bloomberg has reported that iPadOS 16 will be delayed until October to tie in with the launch of new iPads.
The iPad is likely to share its unveiling with a new iPad Pro. Read more about the next Apple Event.
An interesting trend here is that, while the US price of the entry-level iPad has remained constant for the past three generations, U.K. and European prices have been quietly dropping. However, due to the effects of inflation it is likely prices will rise with the release of the new models. The U.K. and other places have already seen prices rise with the launch of the M2 MacBook Pro and Air, so higher prices are likely to be something we have to get used to.
With the iPad mini (2021) receiving a massive facelift that saw the removal of the Home button and a move to more colorful liveries, this means that the 10.2-inch iPad is now the only model in the range to still retain the old design aesthetics, but this may be about to change!
We saw rumors last year that rather than a complete overhaul, Apple was planning to move its entry-level device into the furnishings recently vacated by the iPad Air (3rd gen). This would mean an increase to a 10.5-inch display with little else changing. Newer reports have indeed suggested that a larger screen is destined for the iPad – an increase from 10.2- to 10.5-inch.
Those renders from MySmartPrice do seem to indicate that a new design is coming though, with slimmer bezels and flatter edges – like the iPad Pro.
The renders indicate that the new iPad will have a similar bezel-heavy design as the current 9th generation iPad, but with a wider screen. The device will also be slimmer device and have flat edges. The measurements are 9.8 x 7.1 x 0.27 inches (248.62 x 179.50 x 6.98 millimeters).
The new iPad may also come in some new colors, similar to the iPad Air.
Despite the rumored changes to the design it doesn’t seem that the iPad will lose its Home button with Touch ID. It seems that the new design will still incorporate the Home button at the base.
As we mentioned above, an increase from 10.2- to 10.5-inch is expected for the iPad screen.
Another change to the display we’d like to see introduced with the new 10.2-inch iPad is a fully laminated display. On the current model (and all that preceded it) there is a slight gap between the glass and the touch-panel of the display, which makes it not quite the same experience as when using any of the other current iPads. Obviously, this is to save money, but we’d like to see this finally brought into parity with the other members of the family for 2022.
Here are the upgrades we expect for the 10th-gen iPad, plus a few improvements we’d like to see.
A pretty safe bet when it comes to upgrades is that Apple will move the 10.2-inch iPad up to a newer processor.
The 10.2-inch iPad (2021) comes with an A13 Bionic processor, so it seems very likely this will move up to the A14 Bionic found in the iPad Air (4th gen). Since the arrival of the 10.2-inch iPad format, Apple has consistently upgraded the processor each year, so it would be a surprise if this didn’t happen with the 10th-gen model.
Don’t expect the A15, though; the 10.2-inch iPad doesn’t tend to get the latest hardware. And the M1 is absolutely out of the question.
The entry-level iPad is the last of Apple’s tablets with a Lightning port. The iPad Pro, Air and mini switched to USB-C in 2018, 2020 and 2021 respectively.
It’s time for Apple to complete the transition and makes things less confusing for iPad buyers. That’s without even mentioning the benefits of using a charging standard shared by much of the rest of the industry–and maybe, some time in 2023, the iPhone range too.
Sure enough, sources indicate that the next version of the 10.2-inch iPad will indeed see a switch from Lightning to USB-C.
And with a new law in the European Union requiring USB-C to be used in mobile devices, there’s a very good chance the next iPad will make the switch.
While LTE-enabled iPads might not be on everyone’s shopping list, especially at the more affordable end, if Apple does replace the A13 Bionic chip with the newer A14 Bionic, then this means that technically 5G capabilities would be available. With the iPad Air and iPhone SE both upgraded to 5G in 2022, why leave the 10.2-inch iPad behind?
And this is another rumor with some evidence behind it. According to 9to5Mac‘s sources, the 10th-gen iPad will indeed get 5G support.
On the back, Apple is rumored to be adding a second camera with an vertical array that looks something like the iPhone X.
The front camera is expected to remain at 12MP
The iPad could also be about to lose the headphone jack – it’s the last iPad to have the headphone and speaker port.
While we wait for the new models, you can check out our roundup of the best iPad deals to get the best possible prices on Apple’s current tablet range. We also have a round up of 9th-generation iPad deals.
Tech Advisor contributor Martyn has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews.
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