Future iPad Pro could feature major design change we've all been waiting for

iPad Pro 2021 review
iPad Pro 2021 review (Image credit: Daniel Bader / iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new rumor says Apple plans to make a major iPad Pro design change.
  • Apple is reportedly working on moving the device's camera to a horizontal orientation.
  • It would be a big improvement for the iPad in terms of desktop usage.

A new rumor claims Apple is working on a major iPad Pro design change that would shift its front-facing camera to a horizontal orientation.

According to leaker Dylan on Twitter:

Future iPad Pro's will feature a horizontal camera placement and a horizontally placed Apple logo on the back. Apple will make landscape mode the default for iPad Pro usage. I have not confirmed whether the next generation model will have this feature but it is in the works.

According to Dylan, Apple will move the camera in the iPad Pro from its current position at the "top" of the device (when you hold it in portrait move), and instead position it at the "top" of the device as if it were held in landscape. Apple will also reportedly rotate the Apple logo on the back of the device as well. The move would reflect a growing sentiment that devices like the iPad Pro, often position by Apple as a sound alternative to a laptop or even desktop PC, is best and most often used in landscape, rather than portrait mode. Despite this the camera remains at the top of the portrait orientation, making using the front-facing camera for FaceTime and other uses less effective because the camera is offset to one side.

Apple has already made some big steps in terms of iPad software with iPadOS 15, adding Portrait Mode for FaceTime and Center Stage, which uses a larger field of view through the iPad Pro's 12MP Ultra Wide front camera.

Dylan has a limited but accurate track record when it comes to Apple products and inside information. They accurately revealed that the new iPad Pro announced this year would feature Apple's M1 chip, and also accurately predicted features of Apple's new M1 iMac as well as the iPhone 13, Apple's new best iPhone.

Dylan did say it is unclear whether this feature would come to the next-gen iPad Pro or a future model, but that Apple does have it "in the works."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

  • I fail to see what difference this would make. It’s not like the image is “sideways” with the current camera. And every iPad I use - from Mini to 13” Pro - is in landscape orientation. In fact, I don’t see anyone using an iPad in portrait mode. Why have “we” all been waiting for this “major” change?
  • Agree. Tech bloggers think moving the camera is something everyone has been waiting for when its not the case at all. Like you said, it's not like the image is sideways which then this would make sense.
  • Who is we? Literally not that many people except YouTubers want this.
  • I want this and I am no YouTuber. I got the M1 iPad and using FaceID, FaceTime, Zoom, WebEx, Teams etc. is a pain with the camera in the current position, especially Face ID. My iPad is almost always on the Magic Keyboard as I am pretty close to replacing my Mac with it. When I do hold my iPad my had is almost always covering the camera and making it unable to authenticate me the first time.
  • I think that's the biggest issue. I often have to move my hand to get Face ID to work on my iPad Pro. Does seem like this should have been considered years ago. Every accessory for iPad that props it up, folio, keyboards, all do so in landscape. Just makes sense the front facing camera be centered in that orientation. It's almost surprising that when an iPad boots, it still considers portrait "normal".