Apple has a busy end to 2020 coming with the release of the iPhone 12 and the MacBook with Apple Silicon to name just a couple of upcoming releases, but the iPad lineup appears to be looking at a pretty serious shakeup as well based on the rumor mill.
We have heard that the iPad Air 4 is due for a number of upgrades to bring it more in line with the iPad Pros. Now a new leak from 91mobiles suggests that the standard iPad might be getting at least some of the same treatment (via SlashGear).
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The basis for the report is a set of design schematics that allegedly came from a trusted source and show a number of tweaks to the current iPad.
One of the most notable is the elimination of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and even more interesting is the inclusion of Face ID sensors next to the front-facing camera. This stands out as reports have suggested that the higher-priced iPad Air 4 will not include Face ID, opting instead for a fingerprint sensor in the power button on top of the tablet.
Along with the elimination of the home button and Touch ID comes the expected reduction of the bezels around the screen, again mirroring the look of the current iPad Pros. The screen size is approximately 10.8-inches, just marginally smaller than the smallest current iPad Pro and the rumored size of the iPad Air 4 of 11 inches.
Around the back of the tablet is a single camera with a flash and the Smart Connector (similar to the one on the iPad Pros), which would presumably offer support for a Magic Keyboard and similar attachments.
On the bottom of the tablet, we have a USB Type-C port, which would represent a move to the connector across all of the iPad models if the iPad Air 4 rumors are also correct.
Finally, the audio options for the tablet include dual speakers on the bottom of the iPad along with four mics.
While 91mobiles has a solid track record with its leaks, there is almost certainly some confusion between the new iPad and iPad Air 4 going on with some of the rumors.
Both due to the cost of the parts as well as the desire not to cannibalize the sales of its higher-end tablets, it simply doesn't make sense for the company to bring the standard iPad and iPad Air this close unless there are some considerable differences to the tablets that are not readily apparent from the design.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said back in June that a 10.8-inch iPad with a 20W charger would ship in the second half of the year along with an updated iPad Mini and multiple rumors since have suggested we have Apple events coming in September and October. We shouldn't have much longer to wait to find out what the truth of Apple's new iPad lineup actually is.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.