FINALLY!! There is actually some iPad news worth posting about. After only getting one new iPad in the early Spring after rumors of as many as five new devices in the pipeline, it looks like the release of at least one new iPad Pro is imminent. The new iPad Pro 10.5″ model, which was rumored to have gone into production a few weeks ago, now seems to be slated for announcement in three weeks at WWDC.
Rumors were starting to pop up over the last few days, but now we have the fairly reliable Ming-Chi Quo of KGI Securities weighing in, agreeing that a WWDC announcement of a new iPad Pro is happening. It is encouraging to get a little bit of outside confirmation, as we don’t always see hardware announced at WWDC anymore. The keynote is typically very software and developer focused, and has grown to as long as two hours in recent years as Apple’s software lineup has expanded to include OSX, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS. However, after Apple decided to forego an event to announce the new iPad, iPad Mini 4 changes, and Product (RED) iPhone SE, WWDC became the next logical choice.
As for the design of this new 10.5″ iPad Pro, the consistent rumors of a bezel-less display with a 10.5″ screen seem to be holding up as we near release. The new Pro will likely have the same chassis as the existing 9.7″ model, but may have curved glass around the edges to achieve the elimination of the bezels, similar to what is rumored to be coming on the iPhone 8. This should be an indicator of what we see this Fall.
The new 10.5″ iPad should also feature at least an A10X processor, which will be a solid bump up from the A9X in the existing 12.9 and 9.7 inch models. It is also possible that we could see the A11X, as we know the 11 will be the processor for the coming iPhones. There were rumors this week that the A11 went into production, but that may just be in advance of the new iPhones coming this year. However, based on on the performance and battery life I still get on my 12.9″ Pro, a single generation bump to the A10X should be just fine.
One area of this new 10.5″ iPad Pro that will be of great interest to everyone is the Home Button and TouchID. It isn’t yet clear whether the bezel-less design will necessitate getting rid of the Home Button as we expect on the coming iPhone 8. If so, then the way that TouchID is handled could tell us something about how far along Apple is with their alternative technologies, such as getting fingerprint recognition to work through the screen. If we see it here, it will be almost certain to be in the coming iPhone 8. Stay tuned.
While the rumors on the 10.5″ iPad Pro are very clear and specific, there hasn’t been any new news on the previously rumored spec bumps to the 12.9″ and 9.7″ Pros. If these turned out to be nothing more than processor and memory upgrades, then it is possible that they just aren’t significant enough to turn the rumor mill. However, the fact that there hasn’t been ANY mention means it is likely that the 10.5″ will get the spotlight at WWDC alone. Even if this is the case, the release of the new iPad with so little fanfare could mean that these refreshes will come later with just a press release and online Apple Store update.
At least we finally have some iPad and WWDC news to balance out the crazy that is the upcoming iPhone 8. That, and we have pretty solid confirmation that we will have more new Apple hardware very soon. What do you think of this news? Who is considering buying the new 10.5″ iPad Pro? Who is holding out for an updated 12.9″ or 9.7″ model? Let me know in the Comments section below, on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.