Apple’s most affordable iPad has seen some decent upgrades in recent years, but thoughts turn to the next iteration. What does Apple have in store for us in the 10th generation version of the 10.2-inch iPad?
In this article, we collect 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, technical specifications and pricing.
When will the new 10.2-inch iPad be released?
Apple has settled into a groove since moving from the 9.7-inch iPad to the larger 10.2-inch size. Usually you’ll see them unveiled in September, as you can see from the timing of the last few launches:
iPad 10.2-inch (9th generation): September 2021
iPad 10.2-inch (8th generation): September 2020
iPad 10.2-inch (7th generation): September 2019
We have no reason to believe that Apple will change this schedule as it ties in well with its other products. There is a good chance that the new 10.2-inch iPad will launch in the fall of 2022 and most likely in September along with the iPhone 14.
How much will the new 10.2-inch iPad cost?
An interesting trend here is that while the US entry-level iPad price has remained constant over the past three generations, prices in the UK and Europe have quietly fallen.
That trend is unlikely to continue, unfortunately for our non-US readers. We expect the new 10th-generation iPad to be roughly the same price as the 9th-generation model, but the global chip shortage, ongoing COVID production and distribution disruptions, and creeping inflation in many countries could cause a slight price hike .
Technical specifications and new features
Here are the upgrades we’re expecting for the 10th Gen iPad, plus a few improvements we’d expect Like it 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 to a newer processor.
The 10.2-inch iPad (2021) comes with an A13 Bionic processor, so it seems very likely that it will transition to the A14 Bionic in the iPad Air (4th generation). Since the advent of the 10.2-inch iPad format, Apple has consistently upgraded the processor every year, so it would be a surprise if this didn’t happen with the 10th-generation model.
However, don’t expect the A15; 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 make things less confusing for iPad buyers. That’s without even mentioning the benefits of using a charging stand that’s shared by much of the rest of the industry — and perhaps, sometime 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) undergoing a massive facelift, removing the Home button and moving to more colorful colors, this means the 10.2-inch iPad is now the only model in the range still has always kept the old design aesthetic.
Last year we heard rumors that, rather than a complete overhaul, Apple was planning to move its entry-level model to the furniture recently abandoned by the iPad Air (3rd generation). This would mean an increase to a 10.5-inch screen with little else changing.
Another option would be for Apple to use the whole hog and move to the no-home button approach, but we saw with the iPad mini (6th generation) that this brought a price increase. So this may not be the best way to keep the standard iPad affordable.
One of the features we’d like to see introduced with the new 10.2-inch iPad is a fully laminated screen.
On the current model (and everything before it) there is a small gap between the glass and the touch panel of the screen, which makes it not quite the same experience as using any of the other current iPads. Obviously this is to save money, but we would like to see this finally brought into line with the other members of the family before 2022.
While iPads with LTE support may not be on everyone’s shopping list, especially on the more affordable side, if Apple replaces the A13 Bionic chip with the newer A14 Bionic, it means that 5G capabilities would technically 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 sources from 9to5Mac, the 10th generation iPad will indeed get 5G support.
We will continue to update this article as more details become available. By the way, we also expect an update for the iPad mini, and the iPad Pro will probably be refreshed later in 2022.
While we wait for the new models, check out our roundup of the best iPad deals to get the best possible prices on Apple’s current tablet range.