No external design changes are expected for Apple’s upcoming revision to the entry-level $329 iPad, according to a new report from a reliable Japanese blog.
Mac Otakara reported Monday that the device will use the same housing as the currently sixth-generation model. The Japanese blog heard conflicting reports from Apple’s suppliers indicating the Cupertino giant may not change display size as previously thought.
The device is also though to retain the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is expected given there are no indications of a Face ID-like upgrade. Another upcoming tablet, a fifth-generation iPad mini, is also expected to keep the Touch ID sensor and the headphone jack while looking virtually indistinguishable from the current model save for a few tiny differences.
Both iPad mini 5 and the new $329 iPad could be unveiled on March 25.
Last month, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman called for a ten-inch lower-cost 9.7-iPad. Two weeks later, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted the next $329 iPad would have a 10.2-inch display without changing the dimensions of the enclosure.
Kuo’s report prompted speculation of a possible Face ID-like refresh with fullscreen design akin to the iPad Pro series, but now Mac Otakara is saying that won’t be the case after all.
The 9.7-inch iPad was rethought two years ago with the introduction of a more affordable $329 version that replaced iPad Air 2. It got refreshed the following year with upgrades such as faster chips, support for Apple Pencil and other meaningful perks.