iPad stocks left to dwindle ahead of next week’s Apple event

By

iPad stocks dwindle
Making way for a new model.
Photo: Apple

Availability of the eighth-generation iPad is becoming scarce ahead of next week’s big Apple event. The 10.2-inch device is “currently unavailable” in some markets, while others face shipping delays of three to six weeks.

Apple is expected to introduce a new ninth-generation iPad, with a slimmer chassis and more powerful processor, this fall.

The entry-level iPad has become one of Apple’s most popular tablets, thanks in large part to its affordable price tag, which makes it ideal for kids and students. Its last refresh rolled out in September 2020, and it was a big one.

In addition to a larger 10.2-inch display with Apple Pencil support, the eighth-generation iPad upgrade brought a faster A12 Bionic processor and a Smart Connector for attaching external keyboards. But it will soon be old news.

New 10.2-inch iPad on the way?

Apple is now allowing eighth-generation iPad stocks to dwindle in most markets, which suggests a hardware refresh is right around the corner. And recent rumors indicate that Apple has yet more big changes up its sleeve.

Customers face lengthy waits for delivery of the 10.2-inch iPad in some markets, while in others — including the United States, China, and parts of Europe — some models are “currently unavailable” to order.

It’s not yet clear if a new iPad will appear at next week’s Apple event, which is expected to be focused on iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7. But Cupertino is thought to be planning a refresh for sometime this fall.

The new model is expected to carry the same 10.2-inch display, but in a slimmer form factor inspired by that of the latest iPad Air and iPad Pro. It will also feature a faster Apple chip — likely the A13 Bionic.

What to expect from the next iPad

The new iPad will retain its physical Home button with Touch ID, the rumors indicate, and will continue to favor a Lightning connector over USB-C. In the interests of affordability, it is expected to carry 4GB of RAM.

It’s worth noting both the seventh- and eighth-generation iPad refreshes were announced during September keynotes, so it’s certainly possible a new one will appear at next week’s event. But we’ll likely be waiting a little longer.

Apple is also said to be planning an iPad mini refresh for this fall, so it seems to make more sense than a new 10.2-inch device will launch alongside that during another event in the coming months.