Apple has just announced and hasn’t even delivered the latest refresh of their iPad Pros and the news of the new just can’t be stopped. The new 11″ and 12.9″ models are modest upgrades, but they are arriving along with the new mouse and trackpad features included in iPadOS 13.4, and the new Magic Keyboard that is coming in May looks pretty amazing. However, even after these announcements earlier this week, the rumors of another iPad Pro update in the Fall still persist.
We’ve actually been hearing reports of a super charged iPad Pro coming this Fall since last year, along with reports of the two Pros that just became official arriving early in the year. However, while the rumors were consistent before, they diverged a little this week.
There was a fresh report from Digitimes yesterday reiterating that Apple will be releasing iPad Pros with Mini-LED backlighting technology later this year, with the acquisition of screens set to ramp up in the second quarter. There aren’t any more specifics given here, but this does match up with Ming-Chi Kuo’s last report on this topic.
In that one, he predicted two iPad Pros, as well as a new iPad and new iPad Mini and a few Macs between the second half of 2020 and the end of 2021. While he only mentioned a specific fourth quarter release window for the 16″ MacBook Pro in this report, he previously set the 12.9″ iPad Pro’s release date for the Fall of this year. Parts of this reports were previously backed up by Chinese-language site UDN.
Another rumor that has made the rounds is that this new iPad Pro will get a 5G modem. DigiTimes reiterated this in a report back in February, where they also corroborated the Mini-LED rumors. So far, most of these different reports have lined up, at least in one way or another. However, that changed a bit this week when another reliable source of Apple rumors weighed in with a new story.
Jon Prosser, a well known Apple leaker on Twitter (@jon_prosser) posted the following on Thursday:
New 5G iPad Pro coming towards the end of this year (barring any further delays).
A14X chip. Same everything else.
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) March 19, 2020
He predicts the new Pro will have an A14X processor, which makes sense, as it would already be released with the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro by that time. Prosser also agrees with the earlier 5G rumors. However, if you read through the comments, he specifically says that this new model in the Fall will NOT have a Mini-LED display. His prediction for that feature is sometime in 2021, and that it will come to all iPad models, not just the Pros.
He also adds some additional specifics about this Pro in response to some questions. Basically, he says this is just a single variant in the existing iPad Pro lineup that includes 5G. He also says that he processor bump is specifically to help handle 5G and that this model won’t replace anything in the existing lineup. Mr Prosser has an pretty solid track record with Apple reports, especially lately, so this can’t be easily dismissed.
Well, enough of this reporting lines up for me to believe that another iPad Pro will be coming this Fall, unless the situation around the world deteriorates significantly. Since it became clear that Apple would release the two new Pros that were announced this week, I have believed the Fall Pro would be an addition to the lineup rather than a replacement for a device that just arrived. Mr Prosser’s tweet seems to agree with that. I’m going to stick with that until we have solid evidence to the contrary.
As for the rest, 5G and an A14X processor seem like a no-brainers after the release off a new iPhone. It just boils down to whether Apple will just release a 12.9″ model with Mini-LED, or both 11″ and 12.9″ versions without it. I would prefer to get the Mini-LED screen sooner, but this new Pro should be a performance beast, either way. Anyway, as fun as it is to have something to keep talking about for the future, I’m going to get my new Pros to review next week and I’m going to be very happy and satisfied with that.