This year, Apple is expected to have a very eventful quarter. In a few weeks, the company will reveal the next big thing in iPhones, particularly changes to the iPhone 14 Pro design. Following that, we should hear some good news about the next generation of Mac and iPads, which will take the productivity game to the next level. As rumors and speculation spread, one device in particular has gained some traction. The 10th-generation base iPad model appears to be on the verge of breaking free from its past, and Apple may radically alter its design in more ways than one.
Since the release of the second-generation iPad, the entry-level iPad has not seen a significant design change. While the model isn’t inherently ugly, it has become dated to the point of feeling abandoned. Even though the price tag makes it very accessible to consumers on a budget, the aesthetic does not inspire confidence in making an investment in it. Fortunately, it appears that its fate will change this year, based on rumors that Apple will bring the base iPad up to date with its latest design language.
According to leaked 3D CAD schematics, the iPad 10 will have the same flat edges as the rest of the current iPad line. It will also reportedly switch to USB-C, which means that when it launches in October, all iPads will be free of the proprietary Lightning connector. According to the leaks, the 3.5mm headphone jack will also be removed, effectively ending the port on iPads. Apple appears to be going all out on the design upgrade, putting the iPad on par with the iPad Air and iPad Pro.
Will the base iPad be more like an iPad Air Lite?
The leaked schematics for the iPad 10 do not include locations for the Touch ID button and FaceTime front camera, according to the Japanese Apple fan blog MacOtakara. Given the size of the bezels in the diagram, the assumption was that they would be in the same locations as previous iPads. The site, on the other hand, provides a different interpretation because the schematics are only intended for accessory makers, leaving out those two critical pieces of information.
According to those sources, the Touch ID sensor may be integrated with the top button in a manner similar to the 6th-generation iPad Mini and 5th-generation iPad Air. What’s more intriguing is the suggestion that the FaceTime camera will be moved to the tablet’s side rather than the usual top. The front-facing cameras on the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Mini are currently positioned for portrait orientation. By moving the camera to the side, the iPad 10 would be designed for use in landscape mode. Even the iPad Pro’s cameras remain at the top of the screen.
If Touch ID is moved to the top button, the 10th-generation iPad may have thinner bezels than its predecessors. This would put it on par with the iPad Air in terms of design. If this is correct, the main difference between these two models will be their internal hardware, with the iPad 10 sporting entry-level or older specs. That said, it’s all speculation for the time being, but it would be an intriguing move for Apple.