Apple’s iPads are dominating the tablet market, and the iPad Pro is widely regarded as one of the best tablets around today. In recent times, the Cupertino-based company has also made moves to capture the lower end of the market as well, bringing Smart Keyboard support to its most affordable tablet, the 7th generation iPad.
And this focus on their “cheaper” iPads looks set to continue, if an investor note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is to believed. According to a report on MacRumors, Apple is working on two new iPad models: a 10.8″ iPad and a 8.5″–9″-sized iPad Mini. According to Kuo, Apple will be using the same product strategy used for the iPhone SE, which means “more affordable price points”.
Additionally, the purported new models will feature size upgrades over the current generations of the iPad and the iPad Mini—sized at 10.2″ and 7.9″ respectively. It isn’t yet clear if the new models will be direct replacements for the iPad and the iPad Mini, although that seems rather likely.
Here’s an excerpt of the investor note:
“We predict that Apple will launch the new 10.8 inch iPad and 8.5–9 inch iPad mini models in 2H20 and 1H21, respectively. GIS will be the main touch panel supplier. The two new iPad models will follow iPhone SE’s product strategy, and selling points will be the affordable price tag and the adoption of fast chips. We believe that GIS will be the primary touch panel supplier for these two new affordable iPad models because the company is the largest medium-size touch supplier, thanks to the cost advantages of Megasite. We think that two new affordable iPad models will significantly contribute to GIS’s revenue because affordable models account for 60–70% of total iPad shipments.”
Kuo predicts that the new iPads will hit global markets sometime in the 2nd half of 2020, or even the first half of 2021. At the moment, we aren’t sure if the larger displays on the rumoured models will mean for a larger device footprint in general. Non-pro iPad models currently have some fairly large bezels—especially in 2020—so thinner bezels and a larger display could be a possibility.
Additionally, Kuo also says that we could be seeing augmented reality glasses from the company in 2022, although that would be the earliest possible date for a launch. Apple Glasses (not a confirmed name) have been rumoured for some time now, and the glasses could use a combination of touch panels, gestures, and voice commands as input controls. To maintain a slim and lightweight profile, processing would be handled by a paired iPhone.
What do you think? The iPad is certainly a great tablet, and Apple clearly sees the potential in the tablet market. Personally, it’s hard to disagree—bigger, more affordable iPads are welcome.
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