Apple developing 10.8-inch iPad and 9-inch iPad Mini for release in 2020 & 2021

Apple developing 10.8-inch iPad and 9-inch iPad Mini for release in 2020 & 2021
The iPhone SE has proven popular among existing Apple customers and Android users looking for smaller smartphones since it launched. Now, Apple wants to apply a similar strategy to the iPad lineup.

A budget 10.8-inch iPad with a better chipset

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed in his latest note to investors that Apple is working on an updated version of the budget iPad. The company is targeting a launch in the second half of this year, perhaps alongside the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

One of the key differences, when compared to the existing model, will be the display. Apple increased the screen size from 9.7-inches to 10.2-inches last September but is now planning to take things even further.

Ming-Chi Kuo says the Cupertino giant is preparing a 10.8-inch display for the tablet. Existing Apple supplier GIS will reportedly be the main touch panel supplier for the device thanks to the cost advantages it offers over competing suppliers.

How Apple plans to achieve the larger screen size remains unclear at this stage. It could increase dimensions while retaining the thick bezels and home button or transition the iPad over to an all-screen design with slimmer bezels.

There have been rumored about Mini-LED tech in recent months too, but that has probably been delayed until 2021 like the rest of the Mini-LED lineup.

Kuo says the 10.8-inch iPad will adopt an iPhone SE-like strategy, with the main selling points being the affordable price tag and newer chipset. That falls in line with recent rumors about it adopting the A12 Bionic.

A massively upgraded 9-inch iPad Mini is coming in 2021

Joining the iPad lineup next year will reportedly be an updated iPad Mini. Ming-Chi Kuo says an announcement is scheduled for the first half of 2021, meaning it could be unveiled at the annual March event or at WWDC in June.

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The existing iPad Mini was introduced in March 2019 with a compact 7.9-inch screen, but the next version looks set to feature a much larger 9-inch display. In an attempt to retain the dimensions that give the tablet its name, though, Apple could introduce an all-screen design.

That should be coupled with the aforementioned Mini-LED technology which, while inferior to OLED, should provide deeper blacks and better contrast ratios than existing LCD panels. A higher maximum brightness level is likely too. 

To keep costs down, Apple may introduce an in-screen version of Touch ID as a substitute for both Face ID and the existing Touch ID home button. This implementation could be a preview of what will eventually make it into the iPhone.

An upgraded chipset is expected too. Once again, the exact one was not mentioned, but earlier reports have pointed towards the upcoming A14 Bionic. That's not surprising because the existing model features the A12 Bionic, which was the newest one at the time.

Apple's working on a new iPad Air and 5G iPad Pro too

Although not mentioned today, Apple is understood to be working on a revamped 11-inch iPad Air and a redesigned iPad Pro too. 

The former will apparently incorporate Mini-LED display tech and slimmer iPad Pro-like bezels alongside the upcoming A14 Bionic. It was originally intended for release later this year but may have recently been delayed until early 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The all-new iPad Pro series, on the other hand, is also expected to feature a Mini-LED display. But this time around it should be paired with even slimmer bezels and other important upgrades including 5G network support and the yet-to-be-released A14X Bionic.

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