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iPad Pro with revolutionary display tech, faster chipset could debut in Q3 2020


The iPad Pro models that Apple currently sells were unveiled over thirteen months ago and are largely expected to receive a refresh in March. But according to one analyst, another update is planned during the second half of 2020.

New 12.9-inch iPad Pro with mini-LED display


Ming-chi Kuo, who is known for accurately predicting Apple’s plans, believes the Cupertino giant is developing a variant of its 12.9-inch iPad that features an advanced mini-LED display complete with approximately 10,000 LEDs. This new technology is meant to bridge the gap between the OLED displays that are used on iPhones and the eventual micro-LED screens that’ll inevitably grace future products, but for iPads the switch will be more than just transitional.

Like the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models that are on sale today, the upcoming March 2020 refresh is expected to incorporate LCD panels, meaning the switch over to mini-LED in late 2020 is going to result in some major advancements. Improvements to battery life thanks to the higher efficiency are to be expected alongside increased pixel densities and thinner designs. The technology is also very adaptable to unique design features such as notches, although Apple’s isn’t expected to use one on the iPad anytime soon.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, this big display upgrade will arrive alongside a next-generation Apple A14X chipset designed specifically for the new model. In regards to the announcement, the tablet’s expected to debut at some point during the third quarter of next year. That makes an official unveiling at Apple’s annual September event very likely. The company is yet to confirm a date for its big day but history suggests it may take place on Tuesday, September 8. There, the new iPad Pro could be accompanied by as many as four iPhone 12 models.

Could it be called the Apple iPad Pro XDR?


The analyst in question didn’t reveal whether Apple’s more advanced 12.9-inch iPad Pro is going to replace the version coming in March, but at this stage it seems highly unlikely because of the added costs that are associated with mini-LED panels.


As things stand at the moment, these new-generation displays cost around 20% more than equivalent LCD alternatives. This, combined with the newer and more powerful chipset, means the upgraded iPad Pro will be noticeably more costly than its predecessor.


Apple might, therefore, sell the tablet alongside the LCD version and position it as a superior model. How this will be marketed remains a total mystery at the moment, but one possibility involves the iPad Pro XDR branding. After all, the company recently created an advanced monitor dubbed the Pro Display XDR.

What else will the new iPad Pro offer?


Aside from the changes mentioned above, the iPad Pro XDR is expected to be identical to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2020) that’ll arrive in March. The latter looks set to incorporate a dual-camera setup on the back which resembles the one found on the iPhone 11 by pairing an ultra-wide-angle shooter with a more advanced primary sensor. However, there will also be one other upgrade. 


According to several reports and insiders, the next-generation iPad Pro lineup will incorporate an advanced 3D scanning system that’ll be even more powerful than the Face ID system used on the front. Per reports, it will allow users to create three-dimensional copies of rooms, objects, and people. Apple expects it to be the “centerpiece” of its next hardware push – augmented reality.


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