Apple’s last iPad was revealed in March 2018, followed by two iPad Pro models in October. It looks like the next tablets are nearly with us.

Apple iPad 2018 and Apple Pencil. What will 2019 bring?Apple

It’s now looking likely that a new iPad, or probably more than one, will be coming our way this spring. After all, Apple is a company that behaves in habitual ways.

Until it doesn’t.

Leaks and rumors come from many sources, so it’s wise to be cautious. But the latest hints come from an impeccable source: Apple. Here’s all you need to know…

Leak 1

A screen shot from the Eurasian Economic Commission.MySmartPrice

First, there was the registration of devices with the Eurasian Economic Commission, a requirement for the countries it serves that information is revealed ahead of products going on sale. MySmartPrice noticed the filing which took place on Friday, January 25.

Something similar happened last August when Apple filed six Apple Watch model numbers with the Commission, ahead of the reveal of the Watch on September 12. In terms of timing, the filing happened about three weeks before the unveiling.

Very few details appeared, basically just model numbers and that they use iOS 12. Those numbers, if you’re interested, are A2123, A2124, A2126, A2153, A2154 followed on a separate page of the register by A2133 and A2152.

Leak 2

Code from the latest iOS beta suggests new iPads and iPod.Steve Troughton -Smith

Not much to go on, then, but what we can deduce becomes a little clearer when we add in the second leak, which comes courtesy of the beta version of iOS 12.2. This is a story picked up by 9to5Mac and focuses on a tweet from developer Steve Troughton-Smith who has scoured the software for clues.

Here, there are references to iPad11,1, iPad11,2, iPad11,3 and (you guessed it) iPad11,4. It’s thought these devices will not have FaceID.

An iPod touch display station is shown at Wal-Mart Supercenter in Rogers, Ark., Thursday, June 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Sarah Bentham) photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

A new iPod, too?

Then, intriguingly, the beta also refers to iPod9,1 and it seems there is neither Face ID nor Touch ID on this new model.

So, what does it all mean?

Well, first of all, the four iPad references do not mean four new models. It’s likely that there will be one full-size iPad, with a wi-fi only and a wi-fi plus cellular variant for each. That’s two of the four iPad references.

It’s possible the 9.7in display will be increased to 10in thanks to different bezels, but don’t expect the entry-level model to have the all-screen front of the Pro edition iPad.

The other two references almost certainly indicate wi-fi only and wi-fi plus cellular variants of a small-screen iPad mini – the first upgrade to the 7.9in display iPad for three-and-a-half years.

Rumors suggest this may be a low-cost iPad mini (the current one is pricier than the entry-level 9.7in iPad), in which case I’ll say that I think the design will exactly match the iPad mini 4. There is a chance, though, that it won’t be a budget version, in which case there may be some update to the design. And I predict it will be compatible with Apple Pencil, as the current iPad is.

As for the new iPod, little is known, though the absence of Face ID is no surprise. More surprising is the lack of Touch ID. If correct, it certainly indicates a new design, perhaps a larger display than before and probably thinner bezels around the screen.

It’s certainly curious, though, that Apple would deliver a new iPod without security beyond a passcode.

Apple iPad 2018.Apple

Wait, there were seven codes registered with the commission, I thought?

Correct. This is not surprising as sometimes there are extra codes for products suited to different territories. The Commission works in five countries: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, so it may be that different versions are needed altogether.

Note also that Apple’s system of coding changes. One year for Apple Watch, for instance, there were different codes depending on size and material. The next year, one code covered all materials, aluminum, stainless steel and ceramic, in a particular case size.

In other words, Apple doesn’t like to be predictable.

The invite from Apple’s 2018 iPad event in March last year.Apple

So, can we expect an event this spring?

That’s what happened in Chicago last March, but it’s also possible the next hardware will simply be released to stores with no attendant event, as was the case in Spring 2017.

If there is an event, when will it be?

Apple favors Spring events like this and last year’s was held on March 27, 2018. Given that the registration has happened a little sooner than it did last year, it’s possible that an earlier date might be in Apple’s mind this time. Then again, the company likes to keep its products on the shelf for at least a year between upgrades, so February seems unlikely to me, but any time in March is possible.


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