Back in September, Apple launched a new base-level iPad at a starting price of Rs 29,990. Called the iPad 8th Gen, or iPad 8, this model was an evolution over the older model in just one way: it gained a newer A12 Bionic chip. We reviewed the iPad 8 and found it to be sufficient for most tablet needs. However, it felt old and there were areas where it needs upgrades. Turns out that Apple is already working on an upgrade that’s scheduled early next year and there are already some leaks to accompany it.

The next-gen base iPad is said to gain the same chipset as the iPhone 11, according to a recent post from tipster Tron (@cozyplanes). There’s no verification behind the leaked details but it seems believable, given the listed upgrades. Apple seems to use the last-gen iPad Air as the base for the next-gen iPad 9. The listed specs talk about an upgraded chipset promising better performance.

iPad 9 speculated specifications

Apple hasn’t revealed any plans for its 2021 launches yet but the next-gen iPad 9 seems to on the list for a possible launch in March. Compared to the current iPad 8, the iPad 9 is said to get a bigger 10.5-inch Retina display. Apple could use the A13 Bionic chipset from the iPhone 11 on this iPad. This will be accompanied by 4GB RAM, which is more than the 3GB RAM on the base iPad 8.

Apple iPad 8th Gen

The tip goes on to say this iPad 9 will be slimmer and lighter but it will retain its Home button with the TouchID sensor. This means the design is going to be similar to the older iPads instead of the modern-bezel-less design of the new iPad Air. Apple has a tendency to recycle its designs for as long as possible. In the case of the iPad 9, Apple could recycle the design of the last-gen iPad Air, which launched in 2019. Do note that this iPad Air was itself based on the design of the first-gen iPad Pro.

Despite the updated hardware, Apple is going to aim for even lower prices with this iPad. The tip says that we can expect a starting price of $299, which is much lower than the base variant of the iPad 8. There are chances that Apple could stick to its 32GB storage variant to attain the lower price. Moreover, this iPad 9 could still stick to the first-gen Apple Pencil with its weird charging mechanism.

We advise you to take this information with a pinch of salt as Apple is yet to reveal anything officially on this front. Rumors in the Apple universe also suggest a new iPhone SE model for 2021 with a bigger display and bigger battery, which could essentially be based on the iPhone 8 Plus.

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