Code within the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, the iOS 12.2 beta, contains clues that hint at four new iPad models — and a long-awaited upgrade for the iPod Touch.
The discovery was made by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who shared his findings on Twitter.
In theory, iOS 12.2 references four new iPads in WiFi & Cellular variants (perhaps mini, and 9.7"?), all without Face ID, and a (seventh-gen?) iPod touch with no Touch ID nor Face ID pic.twitter.com/xiJN6kmmTe
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) January 25, 2019
The iPad designations, “iPad 11,1,” “iPad 11,2,” iPad 11,3,” and “iPad 11,4,” relate to Wi-Fi and cellular models, Troughton-Smith guessed, but without Face ID. This suggests that Apple will not integrate its facial recognition technology on the new iPads, with the tablets to continue to rely on the Touch ID fingerprint scanning system for user authentication.
If the hint turns out to be real, it will support recent rumors that Apple is planning to soon release a fifth-generation iPad Mini and an updated 9.7-inch standard iPad. The absence of Face ID would mean that the tablets will only receive internal upgrades and not complete redesigns, as they would not be able to go bezel-less with Touch ID in place. The new iPad models will be marketed as cheaper alternatives to Apple’s iPad Pro line.
There is a previous report that the new iPad coming this year will feature a new bezel-less design. However, given its expected lower price point compared to the iPad Pro, Apple is still expected to somehow fit Touch ID in the tablet, compared to the more expensive Face ID.
The reference to the iPod Touch in the iOS 12.2 beta code as “iPod9,1,” meanwhile, may be more exciting for fans of the multimedia device.
Not many are expecting Apple to roll out an update for the iPod Touch, as the device’s popularity has slumped over the years while its features have become redundant with iPhones. However, it remains very popular within a niche of users who prefer a dedicated device for their music with the iPod Touch compared to an all-in-one device such as the iPhone.
The sixth-generation iPod Touch launched in 2015 with 32GB of storage and no Touch ID, and Apple is still selling it for $199. The iOS 12.2 beta code suggests that the seventh-generation iPod Touch will have neither Touch ID nor Face ID, which means that the new device will also be released with internal upgrades and not a complete redesign.
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