This week, Apple received certification from the Eurasian Economic Commission (ECC) covering new products (including at least one, if not two, new iPad models) which the company could unveil as early as next month, MacRumors reports.
The filings, which were first uncovered by French publication Consomac, are legally required for any encrypted devices sold in select Eurasian countries like Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, among others.
Two New iPads
Notably, the filings presented in this report consist of two new iPad models — A1893 and A1954 — which interestingly do not appear to correspond with any of Apple’s existing iPad, iPad mini, or even iPad Pro model numbers.
It’s unlikely that the odd numbers indicate there are new or even “drastically revamped” iPads on the horizon.
More logically, given the timing of their certification, is that Apple could be working on a refreshed variant of its $ 329 budget-centric 9.7-inch iPad, which was released in March of last year via an official press release.
Other possibilities are that Apple could be working on a new iPad mini model, though we’ve heard the company has given up on its smallest iPad form factor before — notably as the size of its iPhone screens are expected to increase substantially this fall.
As you can see in the short list provided by Consomac, above, there are additionally a number of “sample” products listed among the ECC filings, some of which have model numbers beginning with ‘AA’ and ‘CC’, which MacRumors was quick to note is “uncharacteristic” of past Apple products and therefore it’s unclear, at this time, what products they could even be.
Two possibilities include Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat, which we haven’t heard much of lately and its previously announced AirPods wireless charging case, but only time will tell…
A Budget, Budget iPad?
Back in December, 2017, we covered a DigiTimes supply chain report which cited that Apple could be working on an even cheaper, budget friendly iPad model which could cost just $ 259.
And while it’s not entirely clear what kind of power and capabilities we can expect of an iPad priced so affordably, we can venture to guess it will retain the 9.7-inch form factor complete with a Home Button, Touch ID, an LCD display and more than likely a reasonable performance boost thanks to the inclusion of a newer A-series chip.
The current budget iPad flaunts Apple’s A9 SoC — a Dual-core 1.84 GHz — while the new device could potentially be bumped up to an A10 Fusion of unknown specifications.
Other features of the current iPad include an 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel front camera, dual speakers, Touch ID, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2.
Unlike iPad Pro, however, it does not support Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard input.
iPad Pro Refresh
Speaking of iPad Pro, meanwhile, its worth noting that Apple is believed to be preparing a major iPad Pro refresh for sometime this year.
That device will be a more premium model, however, boasting design hues similar to the iPhone X, an Octa-core CPU, Face ID and TrueDepth camera system in place of Touch ID, and advanced AR applications — although we’re probably not going to see the first signs of that model until Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, 2018, at the earliest.
Potential Release Date
While we have no indication of a firm release date at this time, MacRumors noted how Apple could announce its new iPad models via an official press release — similar to how it announced the current iPad model last March, alongside the stunning, PRODUCT (RED) variants of its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
In years past, Apple has been required to obtain similar certifications through the ECC, covering devices including its 10.5- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and even the MacBook Pro with OLED Touch Bar — all of which were released within just weeks of their respective certifications.