There have been a few different rumors regarding new iPad Pros coming in 2020 going back to last year. The most common is that Apple will refresh their lineup soon, possibly as early as next month. That timeline matches up with the typical 18 month life cycle for the Pros, so it seemed to make sense.
However, we’ve also had a steady stream of other iPad Pro predictions that don’t fit the expected pattern. For instance, there were some reports at the end of last year that Apple would release a 12.9″ Pro with a new Mini-LED in the Fall of 2020. Combined with the original rumor of updates earlier in the year, it sounded like Apple might do a split iPad Pro release this year.
Since then, all of the projections have been back to the first half of the year, leading to expectations that new Pros with triple lens cameras would be coming pretty soon. Now we have DigiTimes predicting not only a Fall iPad Pro release alongside the iPhone, but that they will have 5G modems, as well. File this under out of left field.
I’m honestly not sure what to do with this rumor. Here’s what I can say with near certainty- we aren’t getting two iPad Pro releases in one year. If Apple releases new 11″ and 12.9″ iPad Pros this Spring, they will not turn around and do it all again six to either months later. As much as I love the iPad Pro, it does not sell in high enough numbers to warrant two releases that close together. That’s just not happening.
While there is nothing in the DigiTimes report to indicate this, I suppose a split release could still make sense to explain the divergent rumors. Apple could release an 11″ iPad Pro with a supercharged version of the current A13X processor, a three lens camera and a new Smart Keyboard Folio soon and then follow it with a higher-end 12.9″ with a new A14X, mini-LED and 5G in the Fall.
But just because something can happen doesn’t meant that it will. I still think it is more likely that we get all or nothing. The safe bet is that Apple will release both the 11″ and 12.9″ iPad Pros together. Whether that is soon or later in the Fall is still very much up for debate at this point.
So here’s one more personal theory: In my 2020 predictions, I said that Apple will update the iPad Air to a form factor and feature set that is closer to the iPad Pro. The current 10.2″ iPad has encroached on the current Air’s territory, making it a tough sell at a much higher price for just a better processor and a slightly better screen.
What if leakers in the supply chain are reporting seeing a device that looks like the current iPad Pros, but is actually a new refreshed iPad Air? Apple could bring that out early in the year and then release the super high-end iPad Pros described in this DigiTimes article in the Fall. Personally, I would like to see this happen, but I still have my doubts.
I don’t think there’s enough solid info on the iPad Pro right now to tip Apple’s hand, so any theories like mine are nothing but pure conjecture. There’s no way to know if the early or late rumors are correct yet, but if we don’t start seeing some actual hardware leaks soon, you can pretty much rule out early. And like I said before, don’t expect two Pro releases in one product year.
Personally, while I don’t want to wait six to eight months, the iPad Pros described in this DigiTimes article are a MUCH bigger and better upgrade than the ones rumored to show up earlier in the year. I am crossing my fingers for an A14X, Mini-LED screen and 5G modem, as that would be a much bigger step forward for the platform.