Alleged Leaked Image of Case for Redesigned iPad Pro Shows Mysterious Rear Cutout Above Lightning Connector

Alleged leaked images of a case for one of the upcoming redesigned iPad Pro models were shared by Slashleaks today showing a mysterious new cutout on the back.

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple is working on two new iPad Pro models, to measure 11 and 12.9-inches. These images are said to be for the "10.5-inch" model – likely a reference to the new 11-inch device with slimmer bezels and a corresponding larger display – and reveal a pill-shaped hollow on the rear of the case that is horizontally aligned with the Lightning connector.

ipad pro 2018 case 2
The case images hark back to a July Mac Otakara report suggesting Apple has relocated the Smart Connector on its upcoming redesigned iPad Pro models from the side to the bottom near the Lightning port.

Shortly after the Mac Otakara report emerged, an alleged CAD image shared by mobile leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer appeared to depict the Smart Connector gone from its usual place and a new oblong indentation near the Lightning port.

The cutout in today's alleged iPad case leak looks just like the indentation in the CAD render, however unlike the render this case still has a horizontal cutout similar to where a Smart Connector resides on the current crop of iPad Pro models, albeit on the opposite side of the device alongside the volume buttons.

The image throws up a number of questions. Not least of those is how a proposed Smart Connector on the bottom of an iPad Pro would work with Apple's Smart Keyboard accessory.

The relocated connector would require a new vertically oriented Smart Keyboard, but a keyboard in that orientation would presumably be unstable, especially for the larger iPad Pro, plus it would likely be unsuitable for Office-style productivity work.

slashleaks ipad pro 2018 cad smart connector

Alleged CAD image of new iPad Pro via @OnLeaks

Mac Otakara has suggested that Apple is making the change because Face ID will work only when the iPad Pro is in a vertical orientation. However, previous information from Mac Otakara suggested Apple was working on horizontal Face ID in iOS 12 for the new iPad Pro models, which are expected to incorporate Apple's TrueDepth Camera system first introduced on the iPhone X.

Commenting on the Mac Otakara report, well-connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman also said the horizontal Face ID support is designed for the upcoming iPad Pro models, expected to be announced in September.

But what if the new pill-shaped hollow in the alleged case images is actually for something other than a new Smart Connector, as suggested by the continuing existence of a horizontal cutout?

Is it a magnetic alignment for another type of keyboard or accessory? A wireless charging contact? USB-C? The (highly unlikely) relocation of Touch ID in lieu of support for horizontal Face ID? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: iOS 12

Popular Stories

iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Use Same Rear Chassis as iPhone 16

Friday July 19, 2024 7:16 am PDT by
Apple will adopt the same rear chassis manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 that it is using for the upcoming standard iPhone 16, claims a new rumor coming out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker "Fixed Focus Digital," the backplate manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 is "exactly the same" as the standard model in Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, which is expected to...
iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 Lineup Specs Detail Display Upgrade and New High-End Model

Monday July 22, 2024 4:33 am PDT by
Key details about the overall specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup have been shared by the leaker known as "Ice Universe," clarifying several important aspects of next year's devices. Reports in recent months have converged in agreement that Apple will discontinue the "Plus" iPhone model in 2025 while introducing an all-new iPhone 17 "Slim" model as an even more high-end option sitting...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
Apple TV Plus Feature 2 Magenta and Blue

Apple TV+ Curbs Costs After Expensive Projects Fail to Capture Viewers

Monday July 22, 2024 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is scaling back its Hollywood spending after investing over $20 billion in original programming with limited success, Bloomberg reports. This shift comes after the streaming service, which launched in 2019, struggled to capture a significant share of the market, accounting for only 0.2% of TV viewership in the U.S., compared to Netflix's 8%. Despite heavy investment, critical acclaim,...
bsod

Microsoft Blames European Commission for Major Worldwide Outage

Monday July 22, 2024 11:55 am PDT by
Last Friday, a major CrowdStrike outage impacted PCs running Microsoft Windows, causing worldwide issues affecting airlines, retailers, banks, hospitals, rail networks, and more. Computers were stuck in continuous recovery loops, rendering them unusable. The failure was caused by an update to the CrowdStrike Falcon antivirus software that auto-installed on Windows 10 PCs, but Mac and Linux...

Top Rated Comments

huschpuscheli Avatar
77 months ago
ah, the new location of the touch id sensor.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zxxv Avatar
77 months ago
That’s where an image of a middle finger will be. Just above the removed headphone jack.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
77 months ago
I’m still waiting on part leaks to come out of the factory.

But maybe the screen is so big, it’s tough to sneak out a full size screen without a home button but with a notch.

That’s really what we are all waiting for I would imagine.
[doublepost=1535105604][/doublepost]
ah, the new location of the touch id sensor.
I doubt it. Apple has said repeatedly Face ID is the future.

I bet in two years or less even Macs will ditch Touch ID and incorporate Face ID. Makes even more sense on computers.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spiderman0616 Avatar
77 months ago
BS case mock-up based on a BS CAD drawing. That’s my bet.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fokmik Avatar
77 months ago
Second FaceID camera? I'll go with that, it's the only way they would be able to have it work in landscape.
how come? faceID on the back? this makes no sense
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
77 months ago
Personally, I think this case is just some BS leaked to throw us all off. Nothing makes sense... smart connector in portrait mode? Existing smart connector relocated to where the volume buttons are is clumsy. The potential microphone hole where the smart connector was. All totally bizarre
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)