New iPad Pro (2018): Will a new iPad be released in 2018 after all?
Apple’s WWDC 2018 came and went earlier this year without a mention of new iPad Pro models, and while a reveal wasn’t necessarily expected, it’s been 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? It’s still expected to appear before the end of the year – and with an October Apple event now confirmed, it actually seems something of a given.
Plus, a small avalanche of recent leaks have got us all hot under the collar once again.
The latest comes to us from Japanese Apple blog Mac Otakara on Friday October 19. It suggests that Apple could be planning to ditch its proprietary Lightning charger for an industry standard USB-C port on the new iPad Pro 2018 – a rumour apparently gleaned from discussions amongst accessory makers at the Global Source Mobile Electronics Trade Fair, or GSMETF.
While impossible to verify, it’s worth noting that these reports support the crystal ball gazing of noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who also says he believes the next iPad Pro will dump Lightning in favour of USB-C.
Prior to this, MySmartPrice leaked the following render on Wednesday October 17, which allegedly shows off the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2018 sporting a UAG case.
Unfortunately, there’s not much we can glean from the image that we hadn’t heard about already: there’s a (nearly) bezel-less screen design and the new iPad sports some new sensors on the left-hand side of the snap, presumably to support Apple’s Face ID technology.
But that’s not all, far from it. Read on for everything you need to know about the next iPad Pro, starting with its rumoured release date.
New iPad Pro (2018): Release date and price
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 and November 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.
Considering the firm received authorisation as far back as July to sell two unannounced iOS 12-powered iPad models in Russia, it looks highly likely that a refreshed iPad Pro will release this year.
The iPad Pro is around 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 is treated to a significant redesign and gains 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…
New iPad Pro (2018): Specs, screen and design rumours
According to a new report from 9to5Mac that cites “sources familiar with the development” of the 2018 iPad Pro, the tablet will feature Face ID, but won’t have a home button or a notch.
Instead, the sources say, the 2018 iPad Pro will have a near edge-to-edge display and slimmed-down bezels that are still wide enough to house the TrueDepth camera system that Face ID − which will work both in portrait and landscape modes − is reliant on.
This description perfectly matches the purported 2018 iPad Pro render shared on Twitter by reliable tipster Ben Geskin (above).
And a pair of leaked images picked up by Slashleaks shows off a very similar-looking device, which could apparently have a super-slim 5.9mm profile.
The 2018 iPad Pro is also said to feature the most powerful mobile processor Apple has ever placed in an iOS device. The A12X processor is apparently codenamed Vortex, and is claimed to be more powerful than the Apple A12 Bionic that can be found in the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. It will also include a more powerful A12X GPU.
There will reportedly be a pair of Wi-Fi models in two different size options, and a pair of LTE models in two different sizes.
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 a long shot.
The 2018 iPad Pro will reportedly feature a rear-mounted Magnetic Connector for different accessories, as well as a USB-C port, and the ability to output 4K HDR video to external displays.
It’s claimed to support a new Apple Pencil too (more on this further down the page), though there’s no word yet on whether or not Apple’s existing stylus will work with the new 2018 iPad Pro.
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.
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): Concept renders
Fans have stepped in with their own ideas about the direction the next iPad Pro should take, giving us a taste of what official press renders of the upcoming device might look like.
The following images 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 a new 12-inch iPad Pro. It’s expected to be joined a smaller 11-inch model to complete Apple’s 2018 iPad Pro refresh.
Concept designer Martin Hajek has also envisioned how a so-called ‘iPad X’ might look − though this concept comes with a notch. It’s definitely pretty, but almost certainly not accurate.
These concepts from designer Álvaro Pabesio, however, is probably the most true-to-life representation of the next iPad Pro. You can view them below.
What would you like to see in the new iPad Pro 2018? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.