iPad 2019 rumors: Price, specs, features and everything else we know

The date is official: March 25. What we'll see then remains unknown.

Justin Jaffe Managing editor
Justin Jaffe is the Managing Editor for CNET Money. He has more than 20 years of experience publishing books, articles and research on finance and technology for Wired, IDC and others. He is the coauthor of Uninvested (Random House, 2015), which reveals how financial services companies take advantage of customers -- and how to protect yourself. He graduated from Skidmore College with a B.A. in English Literature, spent 10 years in San Francisco and now lives in Portland, Maine.
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Editor's note, March 18: Apple has announced two new iPads. Starting at $499 (£479, AU$779) for the 64GB model, the new iPad Air features a 10.5-inch Retina display, an A12 Bionic processor and support for the Apple Pencil. It replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro from 2017, which is no longer sold. The new iPad Mini, starting at $399 (£399, AU$599) for the 64GB version, also has the A12 chip and Pencil support, but is otherwise nearly identical to the iPad Mini 4 it replaces. The previous version of this story from March 13 follows.

On Monday, Apple invited members of the media to a "special event" on March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater on its Cupertino campus. It's expected that the company will use the occasion to unveil its rumored video service and, perhaps, a news subscription service. But there's a chance that Apple will also introduce some hardware -- including new iPads. 

The precedent is there. At last year's March event, Apple delivered a new $329 iPad (plus a bunch of education-friendly software initiatives) that went on to earn a CNET Editors' Choice. This year, a legion of leakers, supply chain moles and analysts are predicting that we'll see at least one, and possibly more, new iPads at an Apple event before the end of Q3. 

iPad Pro 2018: Feast your eyes on Apple's big iPad update

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But there's plenty of time between March 25 and the end of Q3. And there's no guarantee that we'll see new iPads or any other new Apple hardware before the end of this month. Of course, Apple hasn't announced anything officially yet. (The company did not respond to a request for comment.) For now, we'll continue to collect the best and most interesting 2019 iPad rumors below. Have a look.

Confirmed: Apple launch event on March 25


The fifth-generation iPad Mini may look similar to the previous model, but have a faster processor. 

Josh Miller/CNET

On March 11, Apple sent an email featuring an animation of the classic, flickering countdown numbers of a film leader, ending with Apple's logo and "It's showtime" in white. Underneath, the company included a simple invitation to join Apple for a "special event" at its Steve Jobs Theater. 

It's expected that the company will use the event to unveil its long-rumored video streaming service, in which it has already said to have invested $1 billion, producing original shows such as dramas, comedies, docuseries and kids' programming. That reporting has since been bolstered by Bloomberg's report that the event will be heavy with Hollywood stars. 

Though there had been alternative theories circulating -- Greek blog iPhonehellas predicted a hardware-focused event on March 27 and Applesfera has picked March 29 -- those now seem far-fetched in the extreme. March 25 is the date. What remains unknown is exactly what Apple will announced. 


AirPower: Apple's wireless charging mat has yet to materialize. 


If the new iPads don't show up in March, the next most likely opportunity would be in June at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. That event is currently rumored to kick off on June 3, though Apple has not yet announced it officially.

Rumor: Multiple new iPads coming soon

Sarah Tew/CNET

We know that Apple recently registered seven new iPad models with the Eurasian Economic Commission and two with the Bureau of Indian Standards, as reported by MySmartPrice -- moves that often precede a launch. In addition, previously unknown iPads are mentioned in the latest iOS 12 beta release, as described by developer Steve Troughton-Smith on Twitter

We still don't yet know exactly which iPads are referenced in the code or the government filings. But they contain some clues about what Apple may have up its sleeve. 

Rumor: Apple will finally release a new iPad Mini

Sarah Tew/CNET

Of all of the iPad-related rumors currently circulating, one of the most logical is that Apple will finally refresh the iPad Mini. Presumably, the new model would replace the iPad Mini 4 -- a device that hasn't been updated in more than four years and which, starting at $399 for 128GB, doesn't stack up particularly well with the best tablets on the market today. Of course, it's worth noting that previous reports had suggested that Apple would discontinue the iPad Mini line altogether.

Rumor: iPad Mini 5 will look a lot like the Mini 4

A report from Mac Otakara suggests that Apple has given the iPad Mini 5 -- or whatever it's called -- only the most modest of makeovers. The article says that the new model has the same exact 7.9-inch design as the iPad Mini 4. Ostensibly, that means no Face ID, no slim bezels and no USB-C ports.

The site 91Mobiles (as spotted by MacRumors) published an image of a case -- ostensibly designed for the new iPad Mini -- that seems to support the modest refresh story. As such, it's quite possible that the new model's most significant upgrade is an updated processor. The iPad Mini 4 uses the same A8 chip that was featured in the iPhone 6, which was introduced in 2014. 


On the upside, the iPad Mini 5 might be one of the last Apple tablets to come with a 3.5mm headphone jack and Lightning port -- two popular features Apple omitted from last year's batch of iPad Pros

The China Business Times suggests that the new iPad Mini will arrive by mid-2019.

See the new iPad from every angle

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Rumor: Apple will unveil a new entry-level iPad

Apple is also expected to retool its flagship iPad, updating the $329 9.7-inch model it introduced in Chicago last year, according to multiple sources. Twitter leaker CoinX has suggested that Apple will release two new models -- a 10.2-inch iPad to replace the current 9.7-inch model and a "new" non-Pro version with a 10.5-inch display -- but "not at the same time."

Previously, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the company would give the new version a slightly larger, 10.2-inch display. Mac Otakara has suggested that the device will keep the same basic design -- and that it will stick with both Touch ID and a headphone jack.

Rumor: New iPad Pros coming later in 2019

Kuo also suggests that Apple will introduce two new iPad Pros in 2019. If that happens, it probably won't be until later in the year, possibly the fall, given that the company just released two iPad Pros last October.

iPad Pro 2018: Feast your eyes on Apple's big iPad update

See all photos

Rumor: iPhone and Mac apps coming to the iPad (but not until 2021) 

Starting in 2020, Apple will cease using Intel processors to power its Macs, switching to its own custom ARM-based processors. This will let developers create a single version of their apps that'll work across Apple's various operating systems on the iPhoneiPad and Mac. The change will take place sometime in 2021, according to both Bloomberg and Axios