Major Upgrades Coming to the iPad in 2021

Apple is looking to launch an updated ninth-generation iPad with a larger display, the A13 Bionic chip, 4GB of RAM, and a thinner, lighter design in the first half of this year, according to recent reports.

ipad air gold 16x9 feature

Reports from cnBeta and Mac Otakara, citing supply chain sources in China, have offered similar projections for the ninth-generation ‌‌iPad‌, explaining that the updated device will have a thinner, lighter design. The reports differ, however, in the speculated screen size of the ninth-generation ‌iPad‌. cnBeta believes the device will have a larger 10.5-inch display, while Mac Otakara says it will retain the same 10.2-inch display of the current model.

Under cnBeta's prediction, it would be possible to achieve a larger 10.5-inch display and thinner design by reusing the chassis and front panel of the third-generation iPad Air. This seems highly plausible because Apple tends to trickle designs down its ‌‌iPad‌‌ lineup. For example, the design of the first-generation ‌‌iPad Air‌‌ came to the fifth-generation ‌‌iPad‌‌, the design of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro came to the third-generation ‌‌iPad Air‌‌, and the design of the 11-inch ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ came to the fourth-generation ‌‌iPad Air‌‌. Reusing this design would also allow Apple to keep costs down for the lower price point of the ‌entry-level ‌iPad‌‌.

ipadairroundup

Mac Otakara has directly said that the ninth-generation ‌iPad‌ will feature a design based on the third-generation ‌iPad Air‌. The device will reportedly be "significantly thinner" than the current entry-level ‌iPad‌ at 6.3mm. The current eighth-generation ‌‌iPad‌‌ is 7.5mm thick, so a 6.3mm chassis would mark a significant design change. It is also expected to be lighter at 1.01 pounds as opposed to the current 1.08 pounds. However, this projection is more distant from that of cnBeta, since neither the display nor the chassis could be the exact components from the third-generation ‌iPad Air‌.

Both reports say that the entry-level ‌iPad‌ will retain the Home Button with Touch ID and the Lightning port. cnBeta also claims that the new ‌iPad‌ will feature the A13 Bionic chip and 4GB of RAM, while Mac Otakara adds that it is expected to have a fully-laminated display, an anti-reflective coating, P3 wide color support, and True Tone.

These rumored specifications would offer some clear upgrades over the current model, while not cannibalizing the mid-range fourth-generation ‌‌iPad Air‌‌, which has a refreshed ‌iPad‌ Pro-style design, a 10.9-inch display, the A14 chip, ‌‌Touch ID‌‌ integrated into the Power Button, and USB-C.

However, it would be peculiar for Apple to update its entry-level ‌‌iPad‌‌ so soon after the eighth-generation model was released. Apple unveiled the eighth-generation with the A12 Bionic chip in September 2020. This was a very minor update, though, with only the chip being upgraded from the A10 Fusion to the A12 Bionic and no other specs changed. So while this ninth-generation ‌‌iPad‌‌ is rumored to be released sooner than expected, it is perhaps made more likely by the fact that the previous update was so minor.

cnBeta says that the ninth-generation ‌‌iPad‌‌ may start at a slightly lower $299 price point with storage configurations starting at 64GB, which is double that of the current-generation, and be released in the spring of 2021.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)

Top Stories

iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...
magsafe charging brick feature

Prosser: iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack to Feature Reverse Charging

Monday March 1, 2021 1:18 pm PST by
Apple is working on MagSafe-compatible battery packs that will be compatible with the iPhone 12 models, and leaker Jon Prosser today said on the Genius Bar podcast that one version of the battery pack will feature "reverse charging." According to Prosser, Apple is working on two versions of the battery packs, one that's a standard version and one that's a premium version with reverse...
rosetta 2

Rosetta May Be Removed From M1 Macs in Some Regions on macOS 11.3

Tuesday March 2, 2021 5:20 pm PST by
Installing the upcoming macOS 11.3 software update on an M1 Mac may result in Rosetta 2 being removed in one or more regions around the world. In the third beta of macOS 11.3 seeded to developers for testing today, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser uncovered new strings in the beta's code indicating that "Rosetta will be removed upon installing this update." Another new string reads "Rosetta ...
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh...
Screen Shot 2021 03 03 at 11

MagSafe Charging Port for iPhone Appears in Apple Patent

Wednesday March 3, 2021 1:30 am PST by
In a newly granted patent, Apple envisions a type of connectivity port using an iteration of its magnetic MagSafe charger to charge an iPhone, potentially paving the way for a future without Lightning. Submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday (via Patently Apple), the patent outlines a three-pinned MagSafe charger, similar to the ones found in older MacBook...
apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
galaxy s21 iphone 12 pro max front feature2

Kuo: Some 2022 iPhones to Abandon Notch in Favor of 'Punch-Hole' Display

Monday March 1, 2021 8:05 am PST by
At least some 2022 iPhone models will abandon the notch and switch to a "punch-hole display design" instead, similar to Samsung's recent high-end Galaxy smartphones, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo said the hole-punch display design will be adopted by high-end 2022 iPhones at a minimum, and if production yields are good enough, all 2022 iPhone...