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New iPad specs revealed in Apple leak, and they could confirm this rumored iPhone 16 upgrade

 IPad Air 5.
IPad Air 5.

For the first time in iPad history, Apple failed to launch a single new model in 2023. But all signs point to the company correcting that in style this year with regular, mini, Pro and Air models all set to be refreshed.

Now a new chipset leak gives us an idea of just how much of an upgrade each one will be — as well as potentially confirming one of the more interesting iPhone 16 rumors.

The leak comes from an unnamed, private X (née Twitter) account, according to Apple Insider, which declines to name them thanks to “a very short follow list” and “protected posts.” Suffice it to say, however, that the leaker has a “very good track record,” which means the post should be taken seriously.

So, what does it say? Well, it lists 16 unreleased Apple products with their accompanying chipsets. That 16 is actually split unevenly over eight products: the four upcoming iPads and the four variants of iPhone 16.

A mixed bag of iPad chips

iPad Pro 2022
iPad Pro 2022

First up are two flavors of 2024 iPad — Apple’s entry-level tablet. Unfortunately, it looks like there’s no change here, with the t8101 processor identified in both. That’s the A14 Bionic, which has been kicking around since 2020’s iPhone 12, and powered the current 10th-gen iPad from 2022.

That’s unfortunate, but has precedent: both the 6th-generation and 7th-generation iPad shared the A10 chipset, with just a small RAM and LTE upgrade separating the two. Perhaps we’ll see similar changes this year.

More exciting is the iPad mini 7, which also has two versions, but is set to feature the t8130 — or the A17 chip. Given that’s the processor found in the iPhone 15 Pro, that’s a huge upgrade from the current iPad mini 6, which uses the A15 chipset that debuted in the iPhone 13.

Both the iPad Air 6 and 2024 iPad Pro have four versions each, thanks to the decision to offer both in two sizes this year. For the Air that’s t8112: the M2 chip found in most of last year’s Macs.

Alongside its OLED panel and new-look keyboard case, the Pro model is reportedly getting t8132 — what’s expected to be M3 for iPad.

A unified iPhone 16 chipset?

iPhone 16 camera pill design
iPhone 16 camera pill design

If you’ve been keeping count, you’ll know that takes us up to 12 models, which still leaves four at large. And these are apparently the four flavors of smartphone that Apple has planned for September: iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max.

We’ve heard before that Apple might be ditching the regular/Pro chip divide introduced with the iPhone 14, and the leaker seems to confirm that with all four models listed as sharing the t8140 or A18 chipset.

That doesn’t mean they’ll be identical, of course, and one rumor suggests that the non-Pro models will get binned versions with fewer cores.

Nonetheless, it’s interesting that this year’s regular iPhones don’t appear to be getting hand-me-downs from last year’s Pro models. Given the iPhone 16 looks set to embrace artificial intelligence in a big way, this may just be something Apple has to do to ensure everything runs smoothly as the company seeks to “break new ground in generative AI”.