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New iPad (2021) could bear a striking resemblance to an older iPad Air

iPad Air 3
(Image credit: Future)

We've been hearing rumors of a new iPad for 2021 to join Apple's entry-level line-up. This range of relatively low cost slates doesn't often change much between iterations, and it's not likely this one will present a huge redesign, but we've heard Apple is trying to make the slate a touch more like some of its other tablets.

According to Japanese tech site Macotakara, paraphrasing a Chinese supplier, 'the next iPad (9th Generation) is likely to be based on the iPad Air (3rd Generation)'. As per the name, the iPad Air 3 was pretty thin and light, and apparently Apple is bringing that design over to its next entry-level slate.

It's worth pointing out Macotakara only has a 68.8% accuracy on AppleTrack, meaning a third of the Apple-related rumors and leaks it covers prove untrue, so take this news with a pinch of salt.

Apparently, the next iPad will have a 10.2-inch display - that's the same size as the 2020 model, though we'd heard the 2021 version could bump that up to 10.5 inches.

The leak also states the new iPad will continue to use "Touch ID, a Lightning ports Full-Lamination Displays, Anti-reflective Coating, P3 Displays, True Tone Displays etc", so it's clear this isn't a total redesign, Apple might just be making a leaner machine.

For if you wanted an iPad Air...

The latest iPad Air 4 didn't actually look like its predecessors, instead looking like an iPad Pro model with flat edges, thin bezels and no Touch ID home button on the front.

Some people prefer the looks of the older iPad Airs compared to the newer ones though as a physical front-facing Touch ID button can be easier for some to use, but the thin and light body adds to the portability.

So if you were looking for a tablet that looked like the iPad Air 3 you were out of luck - by the sounds of it, though, Apple is filling this niche again with its upcoming entry-level iPad.

Tom Bedford

Staff Writer, Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more.