Apple is set to launch a new iPad mini and a revised form factor entry-level iPad, according to China Times. The iPad mini has not received an update since the fourth-generation model debuted in 2015, which Apple continues to sell in 128 GB configurations.
For the 2018 revision, Apple’s $329 iPad featured no physical appearance changes, focusing on a new processor and support for the Apple Pencil stylus. For 2019, it will apparently be receiving industrial design updates to accommodate a slightly larger 10-inch display …
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The iPad mini 5 was previously said to be imminent in a report from Ming-Chi Kuo, who said it would launch in late 2018 or early 2019.
Today’s Chinese media report says the device could go into mass production before the end of December, suggesting a launch within the first couple months of 2019.
For fans of the iPad mini form factor, it’s not yet clear what to expect from the iPad mini 5. Kuo previously downplayed the update by stating it would feature a lower-cost screen and a processor bump. The Chinese report concurs, referring to the device as ‘low-priced’.
As Apple currently only sells the iPad mini in 128 GB models from $399, there’s plenty of headroom for the company to bring the price down.
The 10-inch iPad would seemingly replace the 9.7-inch model in the lineup, featuring a thinner frame (a slim bezel design perhaps) and is expected to debut in the second half of 2019. The report suggests that the pricing of the 10-inch iPad should not be that different to the $329 iPad today. It is still aimed as an entry-level iPad.
Total iPad shipments for the entire of 2018 are expected to be slightly down compared to 2017. The later launch of the iPad Pro in 2018 compared to 2017, where the Pro line was updated in June rather than November, is a contributing factor to the annual sales decline.