Why 9.7 iPad Pro cases won't fit the 10.5 iPad Pro

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Apple gave us a new iPad Pro this year at WWDC, but along with upgraded insides, the outside got a little beefier. Unfortunately, that means some of your favorite accessories may not fit the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro. If you're looking to get the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro as an upgrade to last year's 9.7-inch model, you're going to need to buy a new case. I'll give you a quick breakdown of why you'll need to shell out the extra moolah.

Size Comparison

Obviously, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has a bigger screen than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but what does that mean for the size of the body?

9.7-inch iPad Pro - 9.45-inches long x 6.67-inches wide x 0.24-inches thick

10.5-inch iPad Pro - 9.8-inches long x 6.8-inches wide x 0.24-inches thick

Looking just at the numbers it may not seem like a giant difference, but cases are almost always designed to fit nice and snug around your iPad Pro. But when you place the 9.7-inch model on top of the 10.5-inch model, you can clearly see that the tablet size and shape is different enough that your old 9.7-inch iPad Pro case won't be able to hold the new 10.5-inch model.

New Camera

On top of the slight difference in size, the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is sporting a new camera! The 9.7-inch iPad Pro had the 12MP camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture and five-element lens that was found on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Meanwhile, the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro has the 12MP camera with ƒ/1.8 aperture and six-element lens that is found on the iPhone 7. This makes the camera on the back of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro slight bigger than the camera found on last year's 9.7-inch model.

Bottom line: some 9.7-inch iPad Pro cases have a very narrow cutout for the camera on the back, meaning even if you somehow magically fit your new 10.5-inch iPad Pro into an old case (which you definitely wouldn't be able to), there's a chance that case won't be able to accommodate the bigger camera.

Wait it out

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro has nearly a one-inch larger screen, but is only about 13 % bigger than the 9.7-inch model. It's incredible that Apple could give so much more while keeping the size practically the same. But, the dimensions of the 10.5-inch model are significant enough that there is no way most 9.7-inch cases will fit. Sleeves, bags, soft covers, heck - even skins, will fit just fine, but hard and silicone cases are just not shaped the same as the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

Although the selection of cases for the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is slim right now, if the past releases of new products have taught us anything it's that will be a bunch more to hit the market in the coming weeks that will fit your new iPad Pro perfectly!

Do you plan on upgrading your 9.7-inch iPad Pro to the new 10.5-inch model?

Let us know in the comments below!

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.