New iPad (2022) could be a huge reinvention for Apple's cheap tablet line

Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) in portrait mode on a grey cushion
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple's entry-level line of iPads hasn't seen a significant redesign since the iPad 2 in 2011, but finally - finally - we might see a new look for this affordable tablet.

The Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) have released a quarterly report which includes discussion of future Apple products, in particular the new iPad for 2022.

Apparently, this upcoming tablet will see a redesign to bring it in line with the company's other tablets. 

In addition Ross Young, one of the authors of the report, suggests that the new iPad will have a new display size, though doesn't say if this will be a growth or shrinkage from the 10.2-inch display of the iPad (2021).

Over the last few years Apple has been upgrading its mid-range tablets to resemble the iPad Pro line, with the iPad mini (2021) and iPad Air (2020) introducing the design to their respective families.

It sounds like, by the end of 2022, the entry-level iPad will get this upgrade too, which would make it the last of Apple's tablet series to see the upgrade.

This is exciting news, but it's not been confirmed just yet. We're expecting to see this device in September 2022, alongside the iPhone 14, but perhaps leaks in the meantime will give us a better idea.

Analysis: a redesign means big changes

If Apple does opt to change how its entry-level iPad looks, there are some big changes in store.

Firstly, the home button will have to go if Apple is going to emulate its other tablets - we'd likely see Touch ID shifted to a power button on the side, like in the iPad Air.

Apple's iPad redesigns have typically brought with them a change from Lightning Ports to USB-C, the industry standard, and we'd likely see the same here too.

If the iPad's port changes, then the entry-level tablet wouldn't be able to use the original Apple Pencil, as it requires a Lightning Port to charge - instead, we could see the iPad make the jump up to the Apple Pencil 2, which the other lines use. A design change could also allow for a magnetic charging pin, which is used for charging the tablet.

So we could see the death of the original Apple Pencil too, news that'll likely be received well by people who are sick of its silly means of charging.

As we said, we'll wait until nearer the iPad launch before we get too excited, but it sounds like Apple's iPad reinvention could soon be complete.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.