If predictions are anything to go by, Apple is only weeks away from the launch of the iPad Pro 2018 and it’s tipped to be a major rethink of their previous design, embracing many of the attributes of the iPhone X.
So, let’s bite hard into the rumours encircling Apple and look at the general consensus of what the iPad Pro is tipped to do next.
When will all be revealed?
With September now over and offering only updates to the iPhone and Apple Watch, the next likely release date for iPad Pro is October.
Previous years indicate it would be late in the month, with the fourth week most to see the latest, greatest iPad Pro revealed. Apple likes to hold their cards close to their chest but according to experts iOS 12 includes references to an iPad Pro being released in the US fall.
Apple is also likely to want to skirt around the date that Samsung has slated for the release of the new Galaxy device, which at this stage is scheduled for October 11.
If October isn’t the time for the big iPad Pro reveal, it could be November, but that’s getting a little close to Christmas when it comes to sales.
What will it feature?
Whether it’s known as the iPad Pro 2018 or the iPad Pro X, three major features are tipped to dominate the all-new iPad Pro.
They are: FaceID, an edge-to-edge screen and the absence of the Home button.
For many, these design attributes will come as little surprise as they exactly replicate the refreshed and updated iPhone 8 and X but they will transform the look and feel of the ever-popular Pro.
FaceID affords users the option of logging into their iPad Pro simply by looking at it, but to do so the camera will require an upgrade. That’s likely to see the iPad Pro embrace TrueDepth cameras, and there’s a probability it will work in both portrait and landscape mode.
Not only did the iPhone shift to FaceID but renowned Apple pundit Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in 2016 that iPads would look to FaceID as their unlocking mechanism of choice by late 2018.
No Home button
The iPhone X of 2017 paved the way for the absence of the Home button but for stalwart iPad users, it may take a bit of getting used to.
Experts have long predicted the iPad Home button is likely to go, with users instead activating their device by swiping from the bottom to reveal the list of available apps.
This theory is supported by indicators in iOS 12 which shows the new gestures associated with navigating an iPad without the Home button.
Removing the Home button unleashes a whole host of screen space and that’s likely to result in a larger screen for the 10.5 inch model and better dimensions or the 12.9.
Now the 10.5-inch will be more like 11 inches, while the 12.9 will retain its size but be lighter and possibly slimmer. The shift to 11 inches is something Ming-Chi Kuo previously predicted, while the design of the iPhone X indicates the screen will also likely mimic the round edges of the iPad’s chassis, meaning those square and rigid screen edges are a thing of the past.
There’s also increasing conjecture that the next edition iPad Pro may abandon the Lightning charge and instead opt for a USB-C connection in a bid to speed up the charging process.
In a big break from tradition the iPhone X came minus a headphone jack, instead opting for all-new wireless headphones and there is the slim possibility the iPad Pro may do the same.
However, the general consensus of theorists is that Apple won’t take that step with the iPad, and will maintain the 3.5mm audio jack.
What’s on the inside?
When it comes to what’s on the inside, the iPad Pro has traditionally taken its lead from the latest iPhone, with the most recent chip being the A11 bionic processor. The Pro would likely include a beefier version of the A11, although Apple could even upgrade to the A12.
As the Pro sits in the upper echelon of the iPad price range, it’s unlikely the price will increase too much, with most predicting the 10.5-inch will retail from around US$649 (AUD$979) while the 12.9 will be priced from US$799 (AUD$1199).
As the hype begins to mount about what the latest incarnation of the iPad Pro will deliver, all eyes will be on Apple over the coming weeks for confirmation of a release date. There’s little doubt that it will be this year, but with the clock now ticking to Christmas, it’s simply a matter of when.