Apple Inc. is working on a redesigned, high-end iPad for 2018 that incorporates key iPhone X features such as slimmer edges and facial recognition, according to people familiar with the matter. According to news sources the new version of the tablet is unlikely to include an OLED screen, which provides more vivid colors and sharper clarity. At least one new iPad model with a screen size similar to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is planned to include Face ID for unlocking the device, making payments, and sending animated emojis. The feature would replace the iPad home button that has come with a fingerprint scanner since 2014. The updated tablet is expected to be released later this year, a little more than a year after the last major iPad Pro upgrade.
By removing the home button, Apple plans to noticeably reduce the size of the edges on the top and bottom of the device for the first time since its introduction in 2010, bringing the design closer to that of the recently released flagship smartphone iPhone X. The new version will mark the first revamped look for the iPad since the first iPad Pro debuted in 2015.
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.
The iPad had been Apple’s second-largest product line as recently as 2015. But demand waned and global tablet sales declined 17 percent the past three years. Apple couldn’t avoid the down draft completely and iPad revenue fell behind sales generated by the company’s services business and Macintosh computer products. Now the iPad may be having something of a comeback. The Cupertino, California-based company reported that iPad revenue rose 14 percent to $4.8 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, with an 11 percent increase in the number of units sold. 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 filling out the rest of the pricing stack.
The new model of iPad in 2018
The new model of iPad in 2018 will have the following design and features:-
It will have the OLED — or organic light-emitting diode – screen that come with more accurately reproduce colors, but are more difficult to produce in mass quantities than standard liquid-crystal displays. Samsung Electronics Co., which supplies OLED panels for iPhones, would be the only display maker with the capacity to produce the new screens for iPads in 2018, but technical and financial constraints still make that unlikely. Other suppliers, including LG Electronics Inc., Japan Display Inc., Sharp Corp., and smaller China-based firms like BOE Display and Tianma Microelectronics are also unlikely to have the ability to supply tablet-sized OLED screens to Apple next year.
Face ID, the iPhone X’s main new feature will be coming to the next iPad, which lets users unlock the device with their face and a glance of their eyes instead of a password or fingerprint. Early reception has been positive for the feature, which also allows for payment authentication and sending Animojis, an animated emoji based on a user’s facial movements and speech. Given that the new iPad model is about a time away from release, the plans could change due to supply and manufacturing constraints on Face ID components.
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 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 besides, an OLED display that large would be quite expensive.
Like the iPhone X, the new iPad is expected to include a faster processor and a custom Apple graphics processing unit. 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. 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.
Apple is also preparing a new version of its Apple Pencil stylus and new software tools for using the stylus.
Apple still sees the iPad as its future for mainstream computing and has upgraded the device’s capabilities in successive years to appeal to business and professional users. It last updated the device in June 2017 by adding a 10.5-inch screen size option to the iPad Pro and a ProMotion screen that makes jumping between tasks smoother. Earlier in 2017, Apple released a cheaper version priced at $329 to boost its sales.
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. Till then stay tuned for more updates.