Next iPad Pro Will Have Fewer Speaker Holes According to Accessory Maker
Apple is widely expected to announce new iPad Pro models as early as April, and ahead of time, accessory maker ESR has added a variety of 2021 iPad Pro cases and folios to its online store that offer some potential design clues.
While the cases suggest that the next-generation iPad Pro will not have any significant design changes, ESR informed MacRumors that there will be fewer speaker holes on the new models. This lines up with a report from Japanese website Mac Otakara, which in January claimed that the number of speaker holes on the new iPad Pro models will be reduced by one third, although the reason for this supposed change is unclear.
A one-third reduction would work out as follows:
- 11-inch iPad Pro: 13 holes per speaker → 8-9 holes per speaker
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro: 17 holes per speaker → 11-12 holes per speaker
The new iPad Pro models are still expected to feature four speakers for stereo sound, with two on the top edge and two on the bottom edge.
The new iPad Pro models are expected to be equipped with a faster A14X chip that is virtually identical to the M1 chip in the latest Macs. Last week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that the new models could also feature Thunderbolt support, which is certainly plausible given that the M1 chip supports Thunderbolt on Macs. Gurman also expects improved cameras and a Mini-LED display on at least the 12.9-inch model.
Mac Otakara reported that the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be approximately 0.5mm thicker, whereas the 11-inch model will apparently have the same thickness, further suggesting that a Mini-LED display could be exclusive to the larger model.
The new iPad Pro is also expected to support 5G with a Qualcomm modem in cellular models.
As noted by French website iPhoneSoft, ESR has also listed new cases for third-generation AirPods that suggest Apple's wireless charging case will be slightly elongated, as previously rumored. The new AirPods are expected to have a similar design as the AirPods Pro, but without Active Noise Cancellation or silicone ear tips to maintain differentiation.