Apple’s most affordable iPad has seen some decent upgrades in recent years, but thoughts are turning towards the next iteration. What has Apple got in store for us in the 10th-gen version of the 10.2-inch iPad?
In this article we gather all the latest news, leaks and rumors about the highly anticipated new 10.2-inch iPad for 2022, including release date, new features, design changes, tech specs, and pricing.
When will the new 10.2-inch iPad be released?
Apple has settled into a groove since the switch from the 9.7-inch iPad to the larger 10.2-inch format. Usually you’ll find them being unveiled in September, as you can see from the timing of the last few launches:
iPad 10.2-inch (9th gen): September 2021
iPad 10.2-inch (8th gen): September 2020
iPad 10.2-inch (7th gen): September 2019
We’ve no reason to believe that Apple will change this scheduling, as it fits nicely around its other products. There’s a good chance the new 10.2-inch iPad will launch in the fall of 2022, and most likely September, alongside the iPhone 14.
How much will the new 10.2-inch iPad cost?
An interesting trend here is that, while the US price of the entry-level iPad has remained constant for the past three generations, UK and European prices have been quietly dropping.
iPad 10.2-inch (9th gen): $329 / £319 / €329
iPad 10.2-inch (8th gen): $329 / £329 / €329
iPad 10.2-inch (7th gen): $329 / £349 / €349
That trend is unlikely to continue, sadly for our non-US readers. We expect the new 10th-gen iPad to come in at roughly the same price as the 9th-gen model, but the worldwide chip shortage, continued COVID disruptions to manufacturing and distribution and creeping inflation in many countries could see a slight price rise.
Tech specs and new features
Here are the upgrades we expect for the 10th-gen iPad, plus a few improvements we’d like to see.
New A14 Bionic processor
A pretty safe bet when it comes to upgrades is that Apple will move the 10.2-inch iPad up to a newer processor.
The 10.2-inch iPad (2021) comes with an A13 Bionic processor, so it seems very likely this will move up to the A14 Bionic found in the iPad Air (4th gen). Since the arrival of the 10.2-inch iPad format, Apple has consistently upgraded the processor each year, so it would be a surprise if this didn’t happen with the 10th-gen model.
Don’t expect the A15, though; the 10.2-inch iPad doesn’t tend to get the latest hardware. And the M1 is absolutely out of the question.
The entry-level iPad is the last of Apple’s tablets with a Lightning port. The iPad Pro, Air and mini switched to USB-C in 2018, 2020 and 2021 respectively.
It’s time for Apple to complete the transition and makes things less confusing for iPad buyers. That’s without even mentioning the benefits of using a charging standard shared by much of the rest of the industry–and maybe, some time in 2023, the iPhone range too.
Sure enough, sources indicate that the next version of the 10.2-inch iPad will indeed see a switch from Lightning to USB-C.
With the iPad mini (2021) receiving a massive facelift that saw the removal of the Home button and a move to more colorful liveries, this means that the 10.2-inch iPad is now the only model in the range to still retain the old design aesthetics.
We saw rumors last year that rather than a complete overhaul, Apple was planning to move its entry-level device into the furnishings recently vacated by the iPad Air (3rd gen). This would mean an increase to a 10.5-inch display with little else changing.
Another option would be for Apple to go the whole hog and move to the non Home-button approach, but we saw with the iPad mini (6th gen) that this brought with it a price increase. So this might not be the best route for keeping the standard iPad affordable.
One of the features we’d very much like to see introduced with the new 10.2-inch iPad is a fully laminated display.
On the current model (and all that preceded it) there is a slight gap between the glass and the touch-panel of the display, which makes it not quite the same experience as when using any of the other current iPads. Obviously, this is to save money, but we’d like to see this finally brought into parity with the other members of the family for 2022.
While LTE-enabled iPads might not be on everyone’s shopping list, especially at the more affordable end, if Apple does replace the A13 Bionic chip with the newer A14 Bionic, then this means that technically 5G capabilities would be available. With the iPad Air and iPhone SE both upgraded to 5G in 2022, why leave the 10.2-inch iPad behind?
And this is another rumor with some evidence behind it. According to 9to5Mac‘s sources, the 10th-gen iPad will indeed get 5G support.
We’ll keep updating this article as more details become available. We’re also expecting an update for the iPad mini, by the way, and the iPad Pro is likely to see a refresh later in 2022.
While we wait for the new models, you can check out our roundup of the best iPad deals to get the best possible prices on Apple’s current tablet range.
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