Apple is working on a next-generation version of the iPad Pro, and while there are no major design updates that we know of, there are some new features that are worth looking forward to.
This guide aggregates everything that we know about the 2022 iPad Pro so far based on the rumors that we've heard.
Apple last year introduced an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro with mini-LED display technology, and in 2022, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will continue to use the technology. There were rumors that Apple would also update the 11-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display, but it doesn't sound like that's going to happen because of supply and cost constraints.
Apple calls the mini-LED display of the iPad Pro a "Liquid Retina XDR display" that offers improved dynamic range with true-to-life details, vivid colors, and HDR. The current display in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro uses over 10,000 LEDs across the back of the display, allowing for up to 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1 million-to-1 contrast ratio.
Display analyst Ross Young has said that the 11-inch iPad Pro won't get the mini-LED upgrade after all because the 12.9-inch iPad is selling well enough that Apple doesn't need to add mini-LED to the smaller tablet. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that mini-LED display technology is too expensive to be added to the 11-inch iPad Pro this year.
That put iPad Pro performance on par with Apple's Macs, Apple is rumored to be planning to stick with Mac chips for the pro-level iPads. Apple introduced the M2 chip in the 2022 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, and is expected to use the same chip in the 2022 iPad Pro update.
The M2 chip features an 8-core CPU and an 8 or 10-core GPU.
Apple could be planning to add a glass back to the iPad Pro and has been testing such a feature, but due to concerns about breakability, Apple might instead opt for a larger Apple logo made of glass that would facilitate wireless charging.
If Apple opts for the glass Apple logo, it would presumably have magnets underneath and a MagSafe charger would be able to align with those magnets for quick and easy charging. One of the iPads that Apple is testing is said to have MagSafe with stronger magnets than the magnets in the iPhone, and it is also said to allow for faster wireless charging speeds.
Reverse Wireless Charging
Along with MagSafe wireless charging, the next-generation iPad Pro could support reverse wireless charging capabilities, which would let the iPad be used to charge iPhones, AirPods, and other accessories by laying them on the back of the iPad.
Japanese site Mac Otakara claims that the next-generation iPad Pro models will feature new four-pin connectors at the top and bottom of the device, which would be separate from the smart connector. It is not clear why Apple would add new connectors, but the site suggests the connectors could "assist in powering peripherals" that connect to the USB-C port.
A New Apple Pencil?
We've heard rumors that Apple is working on a new version of the Apple Pencil, but most of that information dates back to early 2021 and we haven't heard anything since then. It's unclear if we're actually going to get a new Apple Pencil.
There were rumors that there would be a black Apple Pencil option back in 2021, but that didn't happen, so it might not have been accurate.
DigiTimes says that Apple is working on a titanium chassis for the iPad, which would replace the aluminum used in the current models, but titanium is an expensive material so this may be unlikely or a feature limited to the highest-end iPads.
Upgraded 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with M2 chip are expected to come out in September or October.
Future iPad Pros
The 2022 iPad Pro models will continue to use standard LCD and mini-LED display technology, but Apple is working on OLED technology for future Macs and iPads. Apple could add an OLED iPad to its lineup starting in 2024, and the iPad Pro could perhaps be the first iPad to adopt an OLED display.
Apple is also said to be working on a larger-screened 14.1-inch iPad that's set to come out in 2023. It would be sold alongside the existing 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models as an iPad with a larger display, but it is not expected to feature ProMotion technology and will instead use a display similar to the current MacBook Air. Little is known about the device, but rumors indicate it will feature an M2 chip with 512GB of storage to start with and 16GB memory.
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