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article imageApple to launch new iPad without a home button in 2018

By James Walker     Nov 9, 2017 in Technology
Apple's working on a new iPad for 2018 that will leave out the home button in favour of Face ID. The device will better complement the iPhone X and offer substantially upgraded hardware. A redesigned Apple Pencil and new processor are among the changes.
Apple's been suffering from declining iPad sales for years as demand for tablets continues to remain low. According to a new Bloomberg report, the company's planning a "comeback" moment with a redesigned device for launch next year. The rumours come after Apple posted a significant growth in iPad sales over the fourth quarter, giving the range a 14 percent revenue boost.
Apple's not expected to radically change the design or size of the iPad. Instead, it'll focus on under-the-hood refinements that narrow the gap with the latest iPhones. The company's currently concentrating on an iPad of "similar size" to the current 10.5-inch Pro. It'll be the first to launch without a home button, a bold move that could bring about bigger changes in how the iPad's used.
Face ID
As with the iPhone X, Apple will compensate for the loss of Touch ID fingerprint authentication by adding Face ID. Its facial recognition technology has proved divisive since its unveiling this year. However, Apple's consistently stated its dedication to the technology and indicated it will be applied more broadly going forward.
2017 iPad Pro
2017 iPad Pro
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Apple will also narrow the bezels around the iPad's display, offering a more immersive viewing experience and allowing it to cut the device's overall footprint. This will further mirror changes introduced with the iPhone X and allow the iPad to look more modern next to its bezel-less Windows and Android rivals.
Apple's not expected to upgrade the display itself. Production problems and supply constraints with its OLED panels mean they'll be limited to the iPhone through 2018.
Apple regularly presents the iPad as the future of personal computing, claiming its portable form factor, accessibility and security make it a better choice than regular computers. The line's failure to generate sales over the past few years suggests consumers don't agree though. Laptops and desktops have continued to dominate the market as rival manufacturers have reduced their investments in tablets.
The new-look iPad could help to revitalise interest in the market. Apple could also introduce a narrower focus for the line, targeting use cases which have benefitted from the tablet form factor. Although not necessarily a true PC replacement, tablets are favoured by consumers, creatives and professionals when a touchscreen and portability is more important than outright power and versatility.
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