Hot off the heels of unleashing its latest 2018 iPad Pro models, a new report is indicating that Apple’s in the process of readying two revamped iPad offerings (including the long-overdue iPad mini 5) for release next year.
The report, published on Thursday by the China Times, goes on to note that among the new offerings will also be a redesigned version of Apple’s current 9.7-inch iPad featuring thinner bezels, a more compact form-factor, and a slightly larger 10-inch display, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans.
iPad mini 5 Rumors
Apple’s small but powerful iPad mini hasn’t been updated in over three years, with the last iPad mini 4 refresh — albeit currently still available in a 128 GB Wi-Fi configuration for $399 via the company’s online store — arriving way back in October 2015.
Rumors spearheaded earlier this year by the famed and well-connected analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, suggested that an iPad mini 5 refresh could be expected sometime by either the end of 2018 or early 2019.
Unclear in this week’s report is what iPad mini fans can expect of the rumored refresh; however, Kuo in his previous reporting appeared to downplay the significance of it, noting that the tablet would feature a standard LCD screen, no major design changes and [more than likely] a CPU upgrade. (iPad mini 4 is powered by Apple’s A8X, with a 1.5 GHz dual-core chip, which is four-generations old now.)
Chinese media sources appeared to agree in their reporting with Kuo’s sentiments, corroborating the “low-cost” nature of the iPad mini 5, which, sources added, could go into mass production before the end of December and launch within the first few months of 2019.
New 10-inch iPad
Apple’s 2018 iPad — which features a 9.7-inch Retina display with Apple Pencil support for just $329 — is largely indistinguishable from its predecessor, as both are built on the company’s venerable 9.7-inch iPad form-factor.
According to this week’s report, Apple’s expected to incorporate multiple “industrial design changes” to the aforementioned form-factor, which will allow the chassis to accommodate a slightly larger 10-inch display while slimming down its bezels (a la 2018 iPad Pro).
The 10-inch iPad, which is expected for release within the second half of 2019, will be positioned to replace the 9.7-inch model in Apple’s iPad lineup and will retain a similar [albeit upgraded] array of “budget-friendly” features and components just like the current entry-level iPad.