Apple gradually eliminated the headphone port from all of its iPhone models and a number of iPad models, including the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad Mini. And now, the firm is ready to do away with it entirely from the iPad, based on rumoured renders of a forthcoming makeover of the entry-level model, the 3.5mm connector is soon to be a thing of the past there as well. It’s not somewhere to be located on the device’s top or bottom.
According to MySmartPrice, the case manufacturer working on accessories for what would be the 10th generation iPad provided the CAD renderings. The classic iPad design, which has been largely unaltered for years, has undergone a significant redesign. In 2017, Apple slightly increased the display size and made other internal hardware improvements, but the overall design has remained the same. That might be changing soon, as the new iPad shares the same flat-sides design as previous iPhones, iPads, the 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the 2022 MacBook Air. The renders were covered by both 9to5Mac and MacRumors. However, maintain a healthy level of scepticism by treating these easily forgeried photos.
The home button is still present, which implies the wide bezels above and below the display are also still there. According to MySmartPrice, the screen will reportedly be larger than the current 10.2-inch model, and the iPad’s rear will feature a modified camera that resembles the iPhone X’s camera module. With the addition of a USB-C port to the next iPad, Apple’s tablet lineup would be fully transitioned.
These images also show quad speakers, and that’s where we start to have some doubts about what we’re seeing because only the iPad Pro currently has four speakers, so if this is true, the entry-level iPad would be able to outperform both the iPad Air and Mini in terms of audio quality.
That seems improbable to me, but it might also be Apple’s explanation for removing the headphone jack from a product that is commonly used in classrooms and other settings where the ability to use inexpensive wired headphones has been important. A part of me hopes that what we’re seeing is inaccurate, at least for this component of the design, as this is a choice that would not sit well with many instructors and parents. But if it is, you would be able to fall back on a USB-C to 3.5mm adaptor.