Apple plans to slim down the 2021 budget iPad

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The 2021 iPad could look much like the 2020 version. Just thinner.
The 2021 iPad might use the same general design as the iPad 8 (shown here), but slimmer.
Photo: Apple

The 2021 iPad is apparently going on a diet. The 9th generation of Apple’s basic tablet will reportedly be slimmer and lighter than the current version.

But the same unconfirmed report says Apple doesn’t plan to change the size of the 2021 iPad Pro models.

A sleeker iPad for 2021

A source in Apple’s Chinese supply chain told Mac Treasure Tracing Club (AKA MacOtakara) that, “The next iPad (9th Generation) is likely to be based on the iPad Air (3rd Generation).” The housing will reportedly go from 0.29 inches (7.5 mm) down to 0.25 in. (6.3 mm). And the weight will drop from 1.08 pounds (490 g) to 1.01 lbs. (460 g).

But the source says the screen size of the iPad 9 will remain at 10.2 in. And Apple doesn’t plan to bring in high-end features. The tablet will continue to have a Home button, Touch ID and a Lightning port. Those have all been replaced in the iPad Pro and iPad Air models.

The 8th-generation iPad debuted in September 2020, so the follow-up isn’t expected until autumn at the earliest. It’s predecessor starts at $329.

Not tinkering with the iPad Pro dimensions

The same source told Mac Treasure Tracing Club that Apple will stick with the same size and casing for the 2021 iPad Pro line. Buyers will have 12.9- and 11-inch models to choose from once again.

Nothing was said about a change to a mini-LED display, as has been rumored. But the source of this new info seems to only have access to the casings of these Apple tablets, so they would not have advance knowledge about screen technologies.

The new iPad Pro models could be introduced before the end of March, according to a previous unconfirmed report.