Digitimes: New entry-level iPad and iPad mini 5 launching in first half of 2019

Apple is seemingly set to debut at least two new iOS devices in the first half of this year.

Digitimes is reporting that touch-screen suppliers are gearing up to supply components for two new iPads in the coming months. These tablets are described as ‘entry-level’ models, including a long-awaited update to the iPad mini 4 and an update to the 2018 $329 9.7-inch iPad.

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The Digitimes report does not detail what features to expect in the iPad updates. However, this isn’t the first time we have heard of 2019 iPad refreshes so we can piece the story together.

At the end of last year, Ming-Chi Kuo said to expect a new iPad mini featuring a cheaper display panel and an upgraded processor.

A Chinese media report corroborated the ‘low-priced’ iPad mini angle, indicating that the product is unlikely to see a major hardware design as the objective appears to be to keep costs down and hit a lower price point for the iPad.

The Chinese report also indicated that the 9.7-inch iPad would be replaced by a 10-inch model. This suggests more of a chassis redesign, perhaps adopting the squarer sides first seen in the latest iPad Pro, which could allow the product to work with the second-generation Apple Pencil.

The $329 iPad typically receives an update in March or April, and these rumors certainly support a repeat of that schedule for 2019. iPad mini fans can look forward to a spec bump, but should dampen expectations for major improvements outside of internal component upgrades.

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Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.