Apple has not missed a year and released a new basic iPad every year since 2017’s 5th generation, going up to the 9th generation this year. There will be a new model in 2022, says Mark Gurman Bloomberg, which will bring minor upgrades just like its predecessors.
The 2021 model was bumped up to an Apple A13 Bionic chipset (up from the A12), meaning it is a few generations behind the current iPhones. We can expect another bump. The basic iPad was also rumored to have an iPad Air-like design, but it did not turn out – maybe next year.
As for the next iPad Air, there was a version with an OLED screen under development, but that development was suspended. So the new model will stick to the LCD in another generation (probably not the Mini-LED though).
The current iPad Air is from last year and runs on an A14 chipset, while the new mini got the A15 along with an ultra-wide selfie camera for the Center Stage feature. Gurman expects the new Air to come on par with the mini with a chipset and camera upgrade.
Said chipset will likely be Apple A15 or A16 as the M series is reserved for iPad Pros and Macs. The choice between the A15 and A16 is likely to be made subject to availability – Apple already had to cut back on iPad production as the new mini competed with the iPhone 13 series for chips. It must have been a difficult choice given that iPad sales rose in Q4. So if the A16 chip is in short supply, there’s a good chance the iPad Air will get this year’s chip instead.
Unlike the new Air, the new professionals can get OLED, we have heard the murmur from double-stacked panels with extra high brightness for iPad and MacBook Pro. While Gurman did not say anything about OLED, he said Apple is exploring support for wireless charging for the next iPad Pros. This will allow them to charge racks and keyboard docks and such.