Will Apple release a new iPad Pro in 2018 after all?

New iPad Pro (2018): When will the next iPad be released?

Apple’s WWDC 2018 came and went earlier this year without a mention of new iPad Pro models, and while a reveal wasn’t expected, it’s now over a year since Apple updated its professional tablet line.

Now the iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4 launch has been and gone, too, leaving us to wonder: what’s happened to the iPad Pro 2018 update?

Read on for everything you need to know about the next iPad Pro, starting with its rumoured release date.

Related: iPhone XS vs iPhone XS Max vs iPhone Xr

New iPad Pro (2018) release date

Quite often with Apple products, we can point to certain times of the year when it likes to refresh its products – but there’s no real pattern with the iPad Pro.

Here’s how Apple has scheduled the releases thus far.

  • Original iPad Pro 12.9-inch − November 2015
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch − March 2016
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd-gen) and iPad Pro 10.5-inch − June 2017

With the September Apple event now in the past, all eyes will turn to October 2018 for a potential new iPad Pro launch, with a 2018 Mac Mini update and new MacBook Air also thought to be on the cards.

Consider that the firm received authorisation as far back as July to sell two unannounced iOS 12-powered iPad models in Russia, and you get the idea that a refreshed iPad Pro seems to be a good to release this year.

New iPad Pro (2018) Updates: Latest rumours, news and leaks

Apple’s WWDC developers conference did bring a few hints as to what might be next, via iOS 12, while recent leaks, rumours and patent filings have also offered clues as to Apple’s next steps. iPad Pro with Face ID and a notch, anyone?

Better still, Apple’s September 12 ‘Gather Round’ event is now just around the corner, and the smart money is on the Cupertino-based firm unveiling a new 2018 iPad Pro to sit alongside its latest iPhones.

Indeed, the iPad Pro recently surfaced in some pretty convincing leaked images, giving us a taste of what official press renders of the new iPad might look like when they’re released next week.

The following photos come to us via MySmartPrice and are apparently based on CAD renders leaked to noted mobile tipster @OnLeaks.

As you can see, the traditional Home button has gone to the digital bone orchard – almost certainly to be replaced by Apple’s Face ID tech – and there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack either, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise given Apple started shuttering it back in 2016 with the iPhone 7.

The images are accompanied by a 360-degree video, which you can watch below, allegedly showing off the new iPad Pro 12.9-inch. It’s expected to be joined a smaller 11-inch model to complete Apple’s 2018 iPad Pro refresh.

New iPad Pro (2018) specs, features and design

In recent years, Apple software betas have served up valuable clues about future products, and the newly-released iOS 12 beta is no different. On a couple of occasions now, we’ve seen hints that the next-gen iPad Pro will have the TrueDepth HD camera necessary to add Face ID to the flagship tablet range.

The developer Steve Troughton-Smith found that AvatarKit had come to the iPad within a recent beta. This tool enables Animoji and will enable the new Memoji within iOS 12. Of course, the hardware is still required, but there seems to be a better chance the tech will arrive within the next iPad Pro, judging by this evidence.

Developer Guilherme Rambo, noted for his eagle eye in such matters, also noticed the presence of Face ID settings hiding within the iOS 12 beta on his iPad Pro. There’s a Face ID set up screen, which can’t be actioned yet for obvious reasons. However, it’s a pretty clear indication Apple may be looking to launch a future iPad Pro with the biometric security tech.

This may not be the only iPhone X innovation passed down to the next iPad Pro. If Face ID does arrive, Apple could sacrifice the Touch ID sensor, and ergo the Home button. That could mean an edge-to-edge display and (whisper it) a notch.

Is there any evidence of this? Well, perhaps. Twitter user Steven Sinovsky noted the clock has been moved from the centre of the status bar to the left hand side within the iOS 12 beta. Is this definitive proof? No. Does it point to a possible iPad Pro with a notch? For sure.

Concept designer Martin Hajek has already envisioned how a so-called ‘iPad X’ might look with a notch and Face ID tech. Isn’t it pretty?

iPad X concept design by Martin Hajek

New iPad Pro (2018) hardware and camera

If tradition is followed, we’d expect the iPad Pro 2018 to include an improved version of the A11 Bionic chip that appeared within the iPhone 8 and iPhone X range. We now know this will be the Apple A12 SoC, following the last iPhone launch.

Cameras haven’t always been the focus of the iPad Pro range, but given Apple is going all-in on AR, there’s a chance the company boosts the real-world imagery iPad Pro users can see through the viewfinder. The last iPad Pro releases included a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera with a 7-megapixel selfie-cam. Perhaps there’ll be a modest update here.

Related: iPad Pro 10.5-inch review

New iPad Pro (2018) screen

Apple seems to have settled on 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch panels as the optimum size for the iPad Pro, so we’d expect a pair of new models retaining those specs. However, it might be time for Apple to boost that resolution a little bit. The iPad Pro currently has a 265 pixels per inch with 2224 x 1668 (10.5-inch) and 2732 x 2048 (12.9-inch).

Given the company is going all-in on 4K content through the iTunes Store, might it consider a full 4K panel, supporting HDR? High on the request list for iPad Pro fans might be an OLED screen, but given the potential impact on the price, as well as the current shortage, we’d say this might be long shot.

Meanwhile, an early-August iOS 12 beta release reveals evidence the next iPad Pro will arrive with super-slim bezels, Face ID, no Home button and no sign of a display notch.

9to5Mac discovered a tiny glyph within the fifth developer beta of iOS 12 representing such a device. Although this is far from confirmation, these little blue icons also divulged a host of secrets about the iPhone X release back in 2017.

As we’ve mentioned above, previous rumours have indicated the 2018 iPad Pro could have a display notch to house those Face ID sensors and the front-facing camera. However, should Apple opt for thinner bezels (rather than non-existent ones) the sensor array could probably make it without the need to cut into the display.

While it could be argued that this isn’t representative of a new product, other versions of the iPad appear with thicker bezels and and the Home button, within the same iOS 12 beta. You can see them for yourself below.

Image credit: 9to5Mac

Finally, on the eve of the release comes a spurious rumour that the new iPad Pro 2018 might bring a drastic change to how the device is charged. Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons Apple plans to switch from Lightning to USB-C.

New iPad Pro (2018) price

The iPad Pro is way twice the price of the regular edition 9.7-inch iPad, and that’s before you fork out for an Apple Pencil accessory.

The 10.5-inch model starts at $649/£619 while the 12.9-inch edition begins at $799/£769.

In all likelihood, Apple will maintain the prices for the rumoured 2018 edition, but it could even raise them if the tablet gains an iPhone X-style design with Face ID tech.

Regardless, we struggle to envision the profession tablet prices being lowered to foster greater adoption. If sterling slumps further against the dollar, Brits can expect another one of those lovely Brexit price hikes.

Apple Pencil 2 rumours

The iPad Pro 2018 is rumoured to be arriving alongside an Apple Pencil 2, a second generation of the highly advanced pressure-sensitive stylus designed with artists and creatives in mind. Recent rumours have suggested the new Pencil will be easier to attach to the iPad (perhaps via a magnetic clip), while patent filings have revealed Apple’s work on a new tip and the addition of an eraser.

New iPad Pro (2018) concepts

With so little information available, fans have stepped in with their own ideas about the direction the next iPad Pro should take.

One such concept from designer Álvaro Pabesio imagines the next generation of the tablet with an 11.9-inch bezel-less display and no home button.

Of course Face ID is present in the concept, and it also has dual rear cameras to bring its photography functionality in line with current high-end iPhones.

Finally, the designer has also reimagined the tablet’s multi-tasking functionality by allowing it to run iPhone apps in a widow alongside full-screen iPad apps.

You can view the concepts below.

What would you like to see in the new iPad Pro 2018? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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