Apple tipped to launch cheaper 10.8-inch iPad – but no glasses until 2022 at the earliest

Apple could be giving its next iPad a bigger, 10.8-inch screen and upsizing the iPad mini too.

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Apple has long been rumored to be working on a pair of smart glasses, but according to noted Apple forecaster, TF Securities supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, they won't arrive until at least 2022. In the nearer term, Apple could release a larger "affordable" 10.8-inch iPad. 

Kuo predicts that Apple will release the glasses in 2022 "at the earliest", according to MacRumors. A report by The Information said Apple told employees it is planning to release an augmented-reality (AR) headset in 2022, followed by a pair of sleeker AR glasses in 2023. 

Apple's AR hardware effort is being led by Apple vice president Mike Rockwell, whose team includes engineers who worked on Facebook's Oculus headset and Microsoft's HoloLens. 

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Kuo has a solid track record for correctly predicting upcoming Apple products, but sometimes the timing is off. Previously he's estimated that Apple's augmented-reality headset could arrive as early as 2020. And he expected all of Apple's 2020 iPhones to have 5G, but the company's first 5G iPhones may now be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic

He reckons the glasses will probably rely on the iPhone for processing power and that they'll run on a new operating system called rOS or 'reality OS', according to MacRumors.

In the nearer term, Kuo expects Apple to release a more affordable 10.8-inch iPad in the second half of 2020, as well as new iPad mini models with an 8.5-inch to 9-inch screen in the first half of 2021. Apple's cheapest iPad is the 10.2-inch iPad, which starts at $329, while the current iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch display and A12 Bionic chip.   

Kuo did correctly report that Apple would release the new iPhone SE 2 in early 2020, which starts at $399 with Apple's latest A13 Bionic chip and a 4.7-inch LCD screen.   

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"The two new ‌iPad‌ models will follow iPhone SE's product strategy, and selling points will be the affordable price tag and the adoption of fast chips," said Kuo. 

"We believe that GIS will be the primary touch-panel supplier for these two new affordable ‌iPad‌ models because the company is the largest medium-size touch supplier, thanks to the cost advantages of Megasite. We think that two new affordable ‌iPad‌ models will significantly contribute to GIS's revenue because affordable models account for 60% to 70% of total ‌iPad‌ shipments."