Apple recently launched new iPad Pros to much fanfare but, truth be told, it was really the new Magic Keyboard and its built-in trackpad that actually made that launch interesting. For some users, however, the price of an iPad Pro is still an extremely high barrier to entry and would prefer an updated but still affordable Apple slate. According to Ming-chi Kuo, those are still coming and in two sizes even but much about this new 10.8-inch iPad and iPad mini are still shrouded in mystery.
One thing that the analyst seems to be sure of is that these iPads will follow the iPhone SE’s product strategy. That strategy can pretty much be boiled down to putting fast chips inside old bodies. Given the new iPhone SE’s specs, that could mean putting the same Apple A12Z chip used by the iPad Pros in a design that goes back to the older non-Pro iPads.
Kuo doesn’t know yet whether the larger of the two will be a successor to the iPad Air or just a plain iPad. Given both lines are still “active”, both are equally possible. Then again, the mainline iPad has become so thin and light that an “Air” model is pretty much redundant by now. The slight increase in screen size may also suggest a decrease in bezels, perhaps finally adopting a newer, Touch ID-less design.
Even less defined is the iPad mini, whose size may be anywhere between 8.5 and 9 inches. Even the smallest option, however, is already a significant jump from the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch size that has been unchanged since the first generation. This might hint that Apple will be decreasing bezels rather than increasing the physical size of the tablet, which could also imply a removal of the Touch ID button.
The larger 10.8-inch iPad may come sometime in the second half of the year while the iPad mini won’t be seen until the first half of 2021. Whether these two tablets will take after their immediate predecessors and have Apple Pencil support is also still unknown but it could be a good strategy to keep Apple’s first-gen stylus relevant for a long time.