Apple could remove the headphone jack from its next entry-level iPad

Apple could remove the headphone jack from its next entry-level iPad
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Apple has gradually removed the headphone jack from its entire line of iPhones and several iPads such as the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad Mini. And now the company seems ready to completely eliminate it from the iPad: according to alleged renderings of an upcoming restyling of the entry-level model, the 3.5mm connector will soon be gone there too. It is not found on the top or bottom of the device.

MySmartPrice says The CAD renderings are from a case manufacturer working on accessories for the 10th generation iPad. It’s a major reimagining of the classic iPad design that has remained largely untouched for years. Apple slightly increased the display size in 2017 and has made other internal hardware upgrades, but the overall look has remained consistent. It seems that’s about to change, as the new iPad shares the same flat side as newer iPhones, iPads, the 14-inch/16-inch MacBook Pro, and the 2022 MacBook Air. Both 9to5Mac and MacRumors reported on the renderings. But, as always, treat these easily faked images with a healthy dose of skepticism.

The home button remains, meaning the large bezels above and below the display are also present. MySmartPrice reports that the screen is said to be larger than the current 10.2-inch model, and there’s a redesigned camera on the back of the iPad, reminiscent of the iPhone X’s module. The revamped iPad features a USB-C port that would complete the transition to Apple’s tablet line.

These renders also include quad speakers, and here I have some doubts about what we’re seeing: only the iPad Pro is currently equipped with four speakers. So if this works out, the base iPad would skip both the iPad Air and Mini in the audio department.

That seems unlikely to me, but could also serve as justification for Apple removing the headphone jack from a product used in many classrooms and other scenarios where support for affordable wired headphones made sense. This is a decision that wouldn’t sit well with many teachers and parents, and part of me hopes that what we’re seeing isn’t accurate — at least for that aspect of the design. If that’s the case, however, you can use a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter as a fallback option.

The 10th-gen iPad is likely to be announced this fall, although it’s unclear if a new design will also have a higher starting price than the current $329. Will Apple remove the 3.5mm port from its entry-level iPad and leave Macs as the company’s only piece of hardware that still includes one? We should find out sometime in the next few months.

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