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Apple’s plans for four new iPad Pro models emerge

Life continues during the crisis that grips the planet. It now looks more likely than ever that Apple plans to introduce new iPad Pro models, and these new machines promise a lot, particularly in the run-up to WWDC 2020 (Online).

The March event that wasn’t

There’s no doubt that Apple has scrapped any plans to hold a big launch event in March, meaning any announcements it had intended to make will be dribbled out using press releases.  

Up next would have been the new iPhone 9 (also available in Pro), new iPad Pro models, a new MacBook Air with a new and improved keyboard and more, possibly including the newly introduced PowerBeat 4 range.

There have been claims the iPhone launch has been delayed as Apple’s global supply chain shudders on the impact of the coronavirus, but it also appears the company will introduce new Apple tablets.

  • A regulatory filing at the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) describes a new iPad model (A2229) that will run iPadOS 13. The EEC requires that company’s register new electronic devices in advance of release, so this is pretty strong evidence of imminent launch.
  • The second piece of data as reported here is more compelling. Apple’s Chinese website published a new iPad Pro user manual (in Chinese, now removed) which describes new 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros in both Wi-Fi and Cellular versions. Model numbers include the A2229 listed by the EEC, along with A2228, A2231 and A2233 models. This follows 9to5Mac’s discovery of leaked code, which also suggests new models.
  • There also claims that iOS 13.4 which includes support for universal apps may ship this week, potentially also including software support for new Apple devices.

What to expect from the iPad Pro refresh?

None of these leaks tell us much about these new machines, other than their size and the existence of both Wi-Fi and Cellular versions, but here’s what we think we know:

  • The inclusion of a rear triple-lens camera as used in the iPhone 11 Pro.
  • This will likely be a 12MP f/2.0 camera with telephoto, ultrawide and standard lenses.
  • 3D depth sensing as well as time of flight.
  • Introduction of the mysterious U1 chip, also features in iPhone 11.
  • Powered by the superb iPhone 11 A13 Bionic processor, which delivers better performance than many laptops.
  • Improved network connectivity (Wi-Fo, Cellular) thanks to a new antenna technology.
  • Potential of a new display technology, though there is confusion as to what – OLED or miniLED, which suggests thinner devices and better battery life – though this may be later in the year.

The new iPads may hint at Apple’s approach to putting one of its own A-series chips inside a future Mac model, and will certainly be capable of running any future iPadOS that may be part of that journey.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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