A cheaper entry-level iPad with an iPhone 11-era chipset could come in early 2021

iPad Air 4
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple just announced a new 10.2-inch iPad in September, but another one might be coming our way early next year: a new leak suggests an entry-level iPad could arrive in Q1 2021 with a larger 10.5-inch display, upgraded specs with an A13 Bionic chipset, and possibly a lower price.

The leak comes courtesy of Chinese tech site CNBeta, which claims a thinner and lighter design that retains the Touch ID button, a spring (early 2021) release date, and a potential starting price of $299 (around £224 / AU$396).

In addition to the The A13 Bionic chipset, which debuted in the iPhone 11 series, the leak claims that the 9th-generation 10.5-inch iPad will get 4GB of RAM and start with 64GB of storage, an upgrade on the 3GB of RAM and starting 32GB of space in the 8th-gen tablet that was just announced. 

In other words, an all-around upgrade on Apple’s signature entry-level tablet.

iPad 9th generation: cheaper? Better? Soon?

It wouldn’t be surprising if Apple launched another new iPad in 2021, especially since it released refined versions in 2019 and 2020. The question is timeline: releasing a 9th-generation iPad less than 6 months after launching the 8th generation sounds unlikely.

That said, Apple has been loosening its product release windows: where it had previously only announced new products around WWDC in May before its big launch events in September, the company did quietly launch the iPhone SE 2020 in April.

And then, of course, Apple spread its late-year releases over several months, with the new iPad in September, iPhones in October, and Macs at the ‘One More Thing’ event in November. Which wasn’t actually the last Apple product out this year - the company revealed ‘one more thing’ in the AirPods Max over-ear headphones.

In sum: Apple might continue to stray from the release windows it used to favor, but it’s still unlikely the company will undercut device sales by releasing a new one less than a year after the previous one came out.

Via PhoneArena

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.