Updated 2/12/18: Mark Gurman of Bloomberg
reports that the next iPad with get tabbed
windows and an Animoji-ready camera .

When it comes to the tablet market, there’s the iPad and
there’s everybody else. Apple dominates the market, especially
in the premium price range. To hold on to its position, Apple
has been kept things fresh with new models like the
12.9-inch iPad Pro and new technologies like
Apple Pencil and ProMotion.

But the fundamental design of the iPad hasn’t changed much in
years. That could all change in 2018, as Apple gives use the
first holistic new iPad design in a very long time.

What’s the latest?

While we already heard a rumor that the next round of iPads
would support Face ID for unlocking, a report on iOS 12 in
Bloomberg contains some some confirmation
that Apple’s tablet will be adopting the iPhone X’s unique
camera. Mark Gurman reports that Apple is working on a new iPad
“that will have the required Face ID camera” to handle
Animoji. The precise language here makes it unclear whether the
camera will be exactly the same as the one in iPhone
X, but the report makes it clear that will have the
depth-sensing abilities required for Face ID.

Additionally, Gurman reports on a new iOS feature that could be
making its way to the iPad soon: tabbed apps. Similar to the
feature on macOS, it would allow users to open multiple windows
within an app and navigate between them, much like how it’s
done using Safari. He says the feature was originally planned
for iOS 12’s launch in the fall but may have to wait until
2019.

Plausible? Apple generally debuts major
features in the iPhone before bringing them to other products
in its lineup, so it’s expected that the TrueDepth camera will
make its way to the iPad sooner rather than later. It would be
somewhat of a surprise for the tablet to pick it up before the
entire iPhone line does, but this rumor is still very
believable. However, we don’t expect the iPad to adopt an
iPhone X-like notch anytime soon.

A sub-$300 9.7-inch iPad in the works?

This rumor was reported on Dec. 1, 2017.

According to DigiTimes, who cites “sources from related
upstream suppliers,” Apple wants to release a new, cheaper
9.7-inch iPad in 2018. The sources claim the model would start
at around $259. That’s considerably cheaper than the already
rather affordable $329 iPad Apple sells today.

No specs or details were given, just an estimated arrival of
“second quarter of 2018.”

Plausible? Apple’s iPad sales have been in a
slow downward slide from its heights in 2014, but have started
to recover this year thanks in large part to the new
lower-priced $329 model. It makes sense for Apple to keep the
price pressure on. 

This may not be a new model, but just a tweaked version of the
current model expected to sell at a lower price, with more
advanced iPads and iPad Pros (see rumors below) filling out the
rest of the pricing stack.

New A11X processor

This rumor was reported on November 28, 2017.

Recent iPad models have come equipped with new A-series chips
based on the same architecture that debuted in the previous
year’s iPhones. For example, the A10 found in the iPhone 7 and
7 Plus has two high-performance CPU cores and two
high-efficiency cores, a six-core graphics processor, and up to
3GB of RAM. The A10X found in the iPad Pro has three
high-performance and three high-efficiency cores of the same
architecture, a 12 graphics cores, and up to 4GB of RAM.

In the same way, the top iPad models of 2018 are expected to
feature an A11X derived from the A11 Bionic found in the
iPhone 8
and iPhone
X. 

apple a11 Apple

If you think the A11 is fast, wait until Apple inevitably
rolls out the A11X.

Citing sources within the Apple supply chain, Chinese site
MyDrivers claims that the A11X will have three
high-performance CPU cores (up from 2 in the A11), five
high-efficiency cores (up from 4 in the A11), and will be built
using TSMC’s upcoming 7nm manufacturing process. The A11 is
built on a 10nm process—currently cutting-edge.

There is no mention of this, but it almost goes without saying
that the new chip will once again include more RAM and more
graphics cores, too. It would be really weird if it didn’t.

Face ID and slim bezels, but no OLED

This rumor was reported Oct 9, 2017.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who regularly leaks
upcoming Apple device details based on conversations with
Apple’s suppliers, believes that at least one model of iPad in
2018 will take its cues from the iPhone X.

That is, it will have greatly reduced bezels and the TrueDepth
camera system with

Face ID, doing away with Touch ID.

iphonex truedetect faceid components apple
Apple

The TrueDepth camera and Face ID will eventually make it to
many Apple products, and the iPad Pro is up next.

Building TrueDepth into the iPad will be a little trickier than
the iPhone, however. While the “default” way to hold an use the
iPhone is in portrait orientation (the iPhone X’s home screen
doesn’t even rotate), the iPad is regularly used in both
portrait and landscape modes for nearly all tasks, with most
apps made to work in either orientation. Face ID will have to
be adjusted to work whichever way you hold your iPad, and Apple
will need to come up with a solution that wont’ easily be
blocked by your hands holding on to the sides of the device.

While the iPhone X has an OLED display, the new iPad is
expected to keep its LCD. There are no 120Hz mobile OLED panels
yet and Apple will want to keep the ProMotion feature. And
besides, an OLED display that large would be quite
expensive. 

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