iPad 10 Could Have A Very Different Touch ID And FaceTime Camera

Apple is expected to have a very eventful quarter this year. In a few weeks, the company will unveil the next big thing when it comes to iPhones, especially with anticipated changes to the iPhone 14 Pro design. After that, we're expecting to hear some good news about the next generation of Mac and iPads, taking the productivity game to the next level. One device, in particular, has started gaining some attention as rumors and speculation rise. The 10th-generation base iPad model seems to be poised to finally break away from its past, and Apple may radically change its design in more ways than one.

The entry-level iPad hasn't received a big design change in almost a decade since the launch of the second-gen iPad. While the model isn't ugly per se, it has become dated to the point that it feels somewhat abandoned. The aesthetic doesn't inspire confidence in making an investment in it, even if its price tag does make it very accessible for consumers on a budget. Fortunately, it seems that its fate is finally changing this year, at least based on the rumors that claim Apple will bring the base iPad up to speed with its latest design language.

Recent information based on leaked 3D CAD schematics suggests that the iPad 10 will sport the same flat edges as the rest of the current iPad line. It will reportedly also make the switch to USB-C, which means that all iPads will have ditched the proprietary Lightning connection when it launches in October. The 3.5mm headphone jack will also disappear, the leaks claim, marking the end of the port on iPads. Now it seems that Apple might go all out on the design upgrade, putting the iPad nearly on the same level as the iPad Air and iPad Pro.

Will the base iPad be more like an iPad Air Lite?

According to the Japanese Apple fan blog MacOtakara, the leaked schematics for the iPad 10 don't actually include locations for the Touch ID button and FaceTime front camera. The presumption was that, given the size of the bezels in the diagram, they would be in the same locations as previous iPads. The site, however, offers a different interpretation since the schematics are just meant for accessory makers, leaving out those two critical pieces of information.

According to those sources, the Touch ID sensor might actually be integrated with the top button in a way similar to that of the 6th-gen iPad Mini and 5th-gen iPad Air. What's more interesting, however, is the suggestion that the FaceTime camera will be relocated to the side of the tablet rather than the usual top. The current location of the front-facing cameras for the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Mini is intended for a portrait orientation. Moving the camera to the side means that the iPad 10 would be designed for use in landscape orientation. Even the iPad Pro still has its cameras at the top of the screen.

If Touch ID is being moved to the top button, the 10th-gen iPad could very well have thinner bezels than any of its predecessors. In terms of design, this would put it on par with the iPad Air. If true, these two models will mostly be differentiated by their internal hardware, with the iPad 10 sporting entry-level or older specs. That said, it's all still speculation for now, but it would definitely be an interesting move for Apple.