Apple may be ready to overhaul the entry-level iPad this year. An alleged design leak suggests the 10th-generation iPad that’s expected to launch this fall will get a redesign that fits right alongside the rest of the iPad family.
As always, it’s important to remind you that everything we’ve heard about the 10th-generation iPad is rumor and speculation. That said, from what’s leaked out, it looks like the 10th-generation iPad will not only include a flat-edge-like redesign, but also USB-C, Apple’s A14 chip, and a Touch ID home button (yes, you read that correctly).
There could also be a few controversial design changes like the non-rounded display corners and the potential removal of the 3.5mm audio jack.
Alright, here’s what we’ve heard so far about the 10th-generation iPad.
What will the 10th-gen iPad look like?
We have several renders of the alleged 10th-generation iPad, thanks to a case maker who shared them exclusively with MySmartPrice. The renders show very obvious differences from the current 9th-generation iPad, including flat edges and a camera bump. There also appears to be a home button in the renders, which could mean that Apple is keeping the circular Touch ID fingerprint sensor below the display.
This stylistic change to flat edges will make the entry-level iPad match the rest of the iPad family, including the iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pros.
Look closely, though, and you’ll see that while the design might sorta resemble the other iPads, Apple might cut some corners. In the renders, the display corners appear to be 90 degrees as opposed to the rounded ones on the other iPads and the bezels don’t seem to be equal on all four sides.
Will the 10th-gen iPad keep Touch ID?
If the leaked images are correct, then yes. While the iPad Pros have Face ID and the iPad Air (fourth-generation and fifth-generation) and iPad mini (sixth generation) both have Touch ID fingerprint sensors inside of their power buttons, the 10th-generation iPad is supposed to keep Touch ID inside of a home button located in the bottom bezel.
From a cost savings perspective, keeping the Touch ID home button makes sense. But it’s time for Apple to move on; the size of the circular Touch ID home button is going to limit how thin the bezel around the iPad. At the very least move over to the Touch ID power button on the iPad Air and iPad mini.
Will the 10th-gen iPad have USB-C?
Unfortunately, the renders seen on MySmartPrice have the charging port obscured so we can’t be certain. But a previous report from 9to5Mac claims the next entry-level iPad would support USB-C connectivity.
There’s little reason for Apple to stick with the Lightning port for the 10th-generation iPad. With the European Union ruling that all mobile devices need to use USB-C, the time is ticking for Apple’s proprietary port. All signs point to Apple moving from Lightning to USB-C in its iPhones and iPads within the next few years to comply. Besides, all of the other iPads have USB-C ports. It’s time for Lightning to go after 10 years.
Will the 10th-gen iPad have a headphone jack?
That’s gonna be a big no if the renders end up accurate. This might sound alarming, but the current 9th-generation iPad is actually the last iPad that Apple sells that has the audio jack. The iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pros ditched the headphone jack when they got top-to-bottom redesigns. We’re sure Apple is more than happy to sell people AirPods.
How big will the 10th-gen iPad display be?
In March, Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, tweeted that there would be new display sizes for the upcoming iPad. Young told Tom’s Guide that the 10th-generation iPad could have a 10.5-inch display, an increase from the 10.2-inch display on the current 9th-generation iPad. These rumored display changes seem to be supported by the renders seen on MySmartPrice that show a wider, but slimmer display compared to the previous iPad.
Will the 10th-gen iPad display use mini-LED?
Don’t count on it. While the 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro uses mini-LED technology to illuminate the display’s pixels and give it a higher contrast ratio and increased brightness, it’s unlikely Apple will use the technology in the 10th-generation iPad. Apple doesn’t even use mini-LED in the 11-inch M1 iPad Pro.
Mini-LED technology is also still expensive. Expect a Retina display (hopefully laminated this time) on the 10th-generation iPad, but we wouldn’t count on anything better than the Liquid Retina displays on the iPad mini and iPad Air.
How many cameras will the 10th-gen iPad have?
The pill-shaped bump on the renders suggests that Apple could switch to a better rear camera. There’s also a FaceTime camera on the front — centered in portrait mode. Sorry bud, the dream of Apple moving the FaceTime camera to the long side of the the iPad is unlikely to happen with the 10th-generation iPad.
How many speakers will the 10th-gen iPad have?
The current 9th-generation iPad has a “two speaker audio” compared to the “two speaker audio landscape mode” in the iPad mini and iPad Air. The renders show holes at the top and bottom of the alleged 10th-generation iPad, which could be a clue that Apple might switch to a “two speaker audio landscape mode” system.
Which Apple Pencil will the 10th-gen iPad support?
The flat-edge design and switch to USB-C could be clues. The current 9th-generation iPad supports the first-gen Apple Pencil, which charges via the Lightning port. The rest of the iPad lineup supports the Apple Pencil (second-generation), which has a flat edge and magnetically charges when connected to the right side of the device. Our bet is that Apple will drop the first-generation Apple Pencil and move to the second on the 10th-generation iPad.
What Apple chip will the 10th-gen iPad use?
According to 9to5Mac’s sources, Apple is planning to upgrade the entry-level iPad with the A14 chip. It’s no A15 as seen in the iPhone 13 and the iPad mini, or the M1 in the iPad Air and iPad Pro. The A14 is still a solid upgrade over the A13 chip in the current 9th-generation, though. 9to5Mac is also expecting the 10th-generation iPad to get 5G connectivity.
How much will the 10th-gen iPad cost?
There’s very little information about pricing, even though we’re fairly close to the expected reveal of the 10th-generation iPad.
The current 9th-generation iPad starts at $329. Apple could stick to the same starting price, or increase it to justify the new design. It wouldn’t be unreal to see the 10th-generation iPad start at $349 or even as much as $399. The iPad mini starts at $499 and the iPad Air at $599. We could totally see Apple selling the 10th-generation iPad at $399 and keeping the 9th-generation iPad at the $329 price; Apple did something similar with the M2 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Air.
When is the 10th-gen iPad release date?
Going off Apple’s previous release schedules, most iPad refreshes were announced in September. It might be delayed a month this year, as indicated by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman who reports that Apple is delaying the iPadOS 16 release to October, which could align with the release of the iPad Pro and the entry-level iPad.