Apple is going to make some big changes to the iPad Pro line this year. Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, one of the most respected Apple analysts, has told investors that the upcoming iPad Pro models would borrow some of the features and design elements from the iPhone X. Folks at MySmartPrice have designed and shared the 12.9-inch iPad Pro renders based on CAD images leaked by reliable tipster Steve Hemmerstoffer aka @OnLeaks a few days ago.
These iPad Pro renders might not be 100% accurate
Hemmerstoffer says he “can’t confirm this one is 100% accurate” but this could be our best look at the redesigned 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The new iPad is a departure from Apple’s current design aesthetic. The iPad Pro renders show off an angular chassis with chamfered edges that will remind you of the iPhone 4. The rounded chassis and soft edges of the current models have disappeared on the new one.
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On the back panel, you can see antenna lines along the top and bottom edges. The Lightning port is located centrally at the bottom, with a row of speaker grills on either side. Another two microphone ports are at the top. The location of buttons remains the same as the current models. However, the home button has disappeared to make way for slimmer bezels and a TrueDepth camera system for security.
The 3.5mm headphone jack has also been removed, finally bringing the iPad Pro family in line with the iPhones. The volume buttons are on the right side of the device. You’ll also notice a button-like structure on the same side whose purpose couldn’t be determined.
The TrueDepth camera system is integrated into the top bezel. Unlike the iPhone X, the iPad Pro renders don’t have a display notch. The bezels have become slimmer than before, but they are still thick enough to let you hold the device in hand without your thumb or palm touching the display. The slimmer bezels will allow Apple to pack the same screen size in a smaller form factor. The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro roughly measures 280.6 × 215 × 5.85mm, claims MySmartPrice.
The publication says the position of the Smart Connector has been changed to right above the Lightning connector on the back panel. It means you have to place the tablet vertically when using the Smart Keyboard. The Smart Connector’s location was changed because Face ID doesn’t work in the landscape mode, says MySmartPrice. But code within the iOS 12 beta suggests that Face ID will work both in portrait and landscape modes, so changing the location of the Smart Connector makes little sense. Bloomberg contributor Mark Gurman has also reported that the new iPads would offer horizontal Face ID support.
The horizontal Face ID support is for the iPads https://t.co/qteEIgoCWU
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) May 8, 2018
Apple will also release a smaller 10.5-inch iPad Pro with a similar design. Ming-Chi Kuo claims the smaller version would sport an 11-inch display in the same form factor as the current 10.5-inch model, thanks to slimmer bezels. However, other reports suggest the tech giant would keep the same 10.5-inch screen size while reducing the form factor.
Rumored 2018 iPad Pro features
According to the rumor mill, Apple is unlikely to switch to OLED panels this year. The upcoming iPad Pro models would feature LCD screens with True Tone technology. Both the 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro models are expected to retain the 4GB RAM, though they will get an upgraded octa-core A11X or A12X processor. The new processor would be based on TSMC’s 7nm FinFET technology.
The new iPad Pro models would be powerful enough for day-to-day usage as well as to meet the demands of creative professionals. Apple is expected to offer 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options. There won’t be a microSD card slot or 3.5mm headphone jack.
Apple could unveil the new iPad Pros at its September 12 event alongside the new iPhones and next-gen Apple Watch. The event will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s Cupertino campus. Alternatively, it could hold a separate event in October to unveil the iPad Pro and new MacBooks. Pricing of the new iPad Pros is expected to be the same as the current models.