Apple has some major plans for 2019, but it’s increasingly looking like it’ll be a less-exciting year for the iPad lineup.
For one, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo only expects relatively minor updates to the tablet segment. In a research note released over the weekend, he forecasted that new iPad Pro models, an updated entry-level iPad, and a refreshed iPad mini are on the docket.
Kuo said that all four devices will ship with an upgraded processor, which is to be expected. The analyst added that the entry-level iPad could sport a 10.2-inch display, which suggests that the device could have much smaller bezels than its predecessor. It isn’t clear whether the lower-cost iPad will get other iPad Pro-style features, though past reports suggest it could stick with Touch ID.
It’s worth noting that Kuo’s lack of details on the 2019 iPad Pro probably indicates an incremental year for those models. Which would make sense, since last year’s iPad Pros were radically redesigned.
As far as the so-called iPad mini 5, the fact that Apple is refreshing the tablet at all is arguably the most interesting thing about the smaller-sized device.
Last week, supply chain sources told Macotakara that the iPad mini 5 would be nearly identical to the iPad mini 4. The Japanese Apple blog noted that the device may come equipped with an A10 processor and would most likely be aimed at the lower-cost market.
And today, OnLeaks reportedly acquired CAD renders of the new iPad mini corroborating “no external design changes” made to the device.
In other words, the refreshed iPad mini is likely to be a specification-bump device (with a lower price point). Though, at this point, it isn’t clear how cheap the device will actually be.
The current 9.7-inch iPad retails for $329, which is a hard price to beat for an Apple product (though Apple could very well bump up the price of the 10.2-inch tablet next year). It’s a situation that sort of echoes the MacBook and MacBook Air pricing problem.
In any case, we won’t know anything for sure until Apple debuts the products — which it could do at a spring media event or during WWDC ’19.