Apple launched its largest ever tablet in September last year, the iPad Pro 12.9 inch, with a huge 12.9-inch screen, supporting the Apple Pencil stylus and packed with a powerful processor, making it a substantial change to the iPad game.
Then there was the iPad Pro 9.7, with its release in March 2016, an iPad Air 2 replacement which came with a smaller screen, new True Tone technology and all of the features we’d already seen on the original iPad Pro.
Apple is rumoured to be announcing its new iPad, or iPads, in early-2017. So far there’s no sign of an official launch date, but we’ll keep our eyes hooked on to it. So what can we expect next? Well there are plenty of rumours that there will be a successor in the form of the iPad Pro 2. And we shouldn’t have to wait too long to see it.
Apple site Macotakara suggests that Apple could introduce a new screen size with the next version of the iPad Pro. It believes that a 10.9-inch version will be revealed alongside the standard 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions.
The site claimed the new model will still feature a bezel at the top, where the FaceTime camera will be, but the rest of the device will be bezel-less, meaning the Home button will need to be removed. Apple took away the physical home button on the iPhone 7 so it’s conceivable they could do something similar with the next iPad Pro.
It has also been claimed the new iPad will be a little thicker than the current 9.7-inch Pro and iPad Air 2 models at 7.5mm compared to 6.1mm. Other rumours indicate that the headphone jack will remain on the new iPad (unfollowing the footsteps of the iPhone 7 series), also quad mics and quad speakers could be expected rather than dual like the current iPad Pro 9.7.’
There’s currently some spec discrepancies between the newer 9.7-inch version and the 12.9-inch, including the True Tone display and 4K video recording, so the 10.9 inch model will, at the very least, be upgraded to match. Apple is also rumoured to be making the switch from an LED panel to an OLED one, which would mean even more impressive colours.
The iPad Pro 9.7 has a 12MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing one, so we’d expect at least that from the iPad Pro 2. Chances are Apple won’t change the megapixel count, as both cameras on the iPad Pro 9.7 are already an upgrade on the iPad Pro 12.9’s snappers. Although given that Apple stuck a larger lens on the iPhone 7 and a dual-lens on the iPhone 7 Plus it’s possible that it will bring one of those to the iPad Pro 2.
As the rumours suggest the new iPad will launch in 2017, it will arrive on the iOS 10 operating system. This means it will offer the same experience to the current iPads and if it slots into the Pro range, Apple Pencil support. The Apple pencil, is one of the defining features of the iPad Pro, featuring pressure sensitivity and angle detection. Already, the precision and responsiveness of the stylus is hailed as one of the best on the tablet market, and no doubt Apple will be working hard to further its functionalities.
There’s no news on pricing yet, so we only have the original iPad Pro’s pricing to go from. That starts at $599 for the 9.7-inch model and $799 for the 12.9-inch one, so with pricing likely to be similar for the Pro 2 it certainly won’t be easy on the wallet.
As with all rumoured devices, everything needs to be taken with some amount of scepticism, but a 10 to 11-inch iPad would make a lot of sense. The rumours and speculation will no doubt increase over the next couple of months and we will keep this feature updated as they do.