Apple is expected to release an update to its iPad lineup in September – meaning the launch could be less than a month away, although that’s the most likely date. Now, a new leak shows what the next entry-level iPad will look like.
Venkatesh Gorantia, in a report my smart price, indicating that the site has received CAD renderings of the upcoming tablet. If these are true, they show a significant change from the current iPad, which is arguably the biggest redesign of the entry-level model in its history. This is what the render shows.
Flat edge design, finally
The entry-level iPad looks different from the rest of the iPad line. The iPad Pro, Air, and mini all have flat edges instead of the curved backs the iPad has had in its entry-level models since 2010. Assuming the renderings are real, the new tablet will feature the same industrial design language. full range. This raises another question…
Compatibility with Apple Pencil 2?
That’s physically possible given the flat edges, but there’s no magnetic charging panel on the renders, so it looks unlikely. As you know, there are two versions of Apple Pencil. The first has a pop-up top that exposes the Lightning connector so you can charge the Pencil from the iPad’s Lightning port. The second magnetically attaches to the side of iPad Air, iPad Pro and iPad mini for pairing and charging. Either the new iPad will have a magnetic connector and the first-gen Pencil is a thing of the past, or it will continue to be only compatible with entry-level tablets, as it is now. This, in turn, raises another question.
Lightning or USB-C?
This is another puzzle. Rumor has it that the next iPad will switch from Lightning to USB-C for connectivity like the rest of the iPad lineup. If so, that definitely means it’s going to switch to the Apple Pencil 2 – I just can’t imagine Apple redesigning the original Pencil with a USB-C connector.
Or maybe those USB-C rumours are wrong (Gorantia says it’s unclear either way) and there won’t be any changes to the Lightning connector, in which case I think the first-gen Pencil will continue to work best.
Larger display, but with square corners
Other iPads have displays with slightly curved corners that match the curved edges of the tablet itself. But the rendering shows that there will be right sharp corners on the screen. The tablet display, on the other hand, will look bigger. Apple has gradually increased the screen size of the iPad from its original 9.7-inch display to its current 10.2-inch display. It seems to me that Apple will probably increase the size by shrinking the bezels and putting a 10.5-inch screen here, similar to earlier versions of the iPad Air. Even so, one big design element doesn’t seem to change.
The Touch ID home button is here to stay
Unlike the iPad Pro with Face ID or the iPad Air and iPad mini, which have Touch ID on the power button, the renders show a Touch ID home button on the front of the next iPad.
Since we know the button could be hidden in the power button, which would make the iPad a full-screen machine like the Air, the only conclusion is to keep the home button to keep costs down.
This is not a bad thing. After all, the entry-level iPad is a $329 value, and even if the sticker price goes up to justify the new design, the next iPad will still be, especially with the predicted A14 Bionic chip inside.
The renders show a pair of speaker grills on the top and bottom, suggesting quad speakers. This could be part of Apple bringing Spatial Audio to more of its devices, and not on the current entry-level model.
rear camera panel
Renders suggest that the rear camera will continue to be a single lens as it is now, but in a raised panel. That’s not surprising, as the dimensions (248.62 x 179.50 x 6.98 mm) reveal a slimmer tablet than it is today. Oh, and it looks like it will flash for the first time too.
While some will be disappointed that the next entry-level iPad isn’t an all-screen offering, it’s important to remember the value of the iPad. With better speakers, an elegant design, and a larger display, its value will be even more pronounced.