Rumor: Entry-level iPad to adopt iPad Air 3 design, no design changes for 2021 iPad Pro

A new report from the supply chain outlet Macotakara today sheds more light on what to expect from the iPad lineup in 2021. According to the report, the 9th generation entry-level iPad will adopt a design similar to the iPad Air 3. There are also reportedly no design changes in store for the iPad Pro.

Apple introduced an all-new fourth-generation iPad Air last year featuring a design similar to the iPad Pro. Today’s report, however, says the entry-level iPad introduced in 2021 will feature a design similar to the third-generation iPad Air, which was originally introduced in 2019.

The new 9th generation iPad would purportedly feature the same 10.2-inch display as the 8th generation but would be significantly thinner and lighter:

According to a Chinese supplier, the next iPad (9th Generation) is likely to be based on the iPad Air (3rd Generation). The display size will remain the same as the iPad (8th Generation) at 10.2 inches, but the thickness will be much thinner at 6.3mm and the weight will be reduced to 460g.

Sources say it will continue to use Touch ID, Lightning ports, Full-Lamination Displays, Anti-reflective Coating, P3 Displays, and True Tone Display.

As for the iPad Pro refresh we expect this year, Macotakara says the physical design will remain the same, but that the performance of the A-series processor inside “may be significantly improved.” The report makes no mention of the iPad Pro’s rumored transition to mini LED display technology.

The timeline for the release of the new 9th generation iPad is unclear, but given that the 8th generation model was only introduced last fall, we wouldn’t expect any updates until fall of this year at the earliest. On the flip side, other reports have indicated that the iPad Pro could be updated as soon as sometime this quarter.

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