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Chill everyone! There's probably no new iPad Pro this fall

iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard
iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard (Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore)

It's the end of August, which means Apple's about to wow us with new product news beginning as early as next month. In the meantime, the constantly churning rumor mill is especially active with daily forecasts, leaks, and the like from across the blogosphere. There's one rumor making the rounds that could cause some controversy and make current iPad Pro owners very angry.

According to MyDrivers, Apple's poised to release an updated iPad Pro in the coming weeks. What, you say? Wasn't the iPad Pro already updated for the year? Indeed it was, both for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch model.

What could Apple be planning? There are three options, ranging from blah to cringe-worthy.

What's likely to happen

Let's start with the most likely outcome to the iPad Pro rumor. No, there isn't going to be a new iPad Pro before this unfortunate year is over. The typical iPad Pro life cycle is two years, and by my count, we're only a few months into the current one. Instead, Apple's working on a new regular iPad model, or a series of new models. Keep in mind, the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad mini are all due for a 2020 update.

What the iPad Pro rumor could be about instead is the incoming arrival of a 5G model. A tablet with 5G was long-rumored before and immediately after the 2020 iPad Pro models were launched in March. Under this scenario, it makes sense Apple decided to wait until the first 5G iPhones were also announced first before revealing this iPad Pro model.

Thanks to COVID-19, I'm not sure the average iPad buyer (or iPhone buyer, for that matter) is ready to embrace 5G. And yet, if the technology is coming to at least one Apple tablet this year, it would undoubtedly be the iPad Pro, not a regular model.

The least likely scenario would involve Apple sticking it to everyone who bought a 2020 iPad Pro and release a new one in September or October. Here, the company introduces a new iPad Pro lineup and promptly retires the earlier one after just five months on the market.

iPad 3

iPad 3 (Image credit: Apple (iPad 3))

No, this won't happen. And yet, there would be precedent.

Way back in March 2012, Apple revealed the iPad 3, only to kill it off seven months later when it introduced the iPad 4. As someone who bought the iPad 3, this one still stings, even though the changes between the models were significant. The iPad with Retina display, as the fourth-generation iPad was also called, featured a much faster processor and was the first Apple tablet to include a Lightning connector.

Circling back to 2020, Apple could introduce a new iPad Pro with some variance of the A14 chip inside, providing an update from the A12Z chip. It could also use a new iPad Pro model to ditch the USB-C and introduce only wireless charging. No doubt, Apple will eventually remove every plug on its mobile devices. In my humble opinion, however, the change will come first to the iPhone, however.

Prediction

I expect Apple to reveal new regular iPads in the coming weeks. These are likely to feature a look similar to the iPad Pro, which will include the switch to USB-C and Face ID. On the iPad Pro front, there will be no news this fall.

Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.

4 Comments
  • I have been waiting for a new iPad Mini. Hopefully with Face-ID, to minimize the bezels, increasing the screen real estate while keeping the physical size the same. USB-C would be nice, but not a deal breaker either way. Old styling (curved) or new pro-ish styling is irrelevant to me. Gonna have a case, or cover at least, on it. Put me down for two.
  • “It could also use a new iPad Pro model to ditch the USB-C and introduce only wireless charging” No way. USB-C is critical for iPads to move beyond being perceived as “just a tablet”. External storage, monitors and such need more than wireless. It would also take a long time to charge a 13” Pro using only wireless. Wireless charging could absolutely be added, but USB-C is not going away.
  • "Way back in March 2012, Apple revealed the iPad 3, only to kill it off seven months later when it introduced the iPad 4. As someone who bought the iPad 3, this one still stings" Never understood this thinking. Maybe I'm just a bit more pragmatic, but I always thought you just buy what you need when you need it. It's not like your model will stop working when a new one hits the shelves. Furthermore, this year's iPad Pro model was clearly a stop-gap model to get the LIDAR system out in developers hands before WWDC. While we can't be 100% sure we'll see a new iPad Pro this year, one is definitely coming soon with an A14X.
  • A LOT of people felt hosed when the 2020 iPad Pro came out back in March, as it's almost certain that Apple had a load of A12-X chip sets left over that they activated the final core on and....PRESTO, the A12-Z! Really, Apple? I don't see a lot of people that bought these devices walking around using LIDAR sensor apps. Going to look pretty silly for Apple to release a new iPhone 12 this year with A14 CPUs that will likely be much more efficient than a variant of the two year old A12. Yes, one is a phone, the other is a tablet, but, in the words of Basement Joe, "Come On, Man..." I think updated iPad Pro with an A14X with 6-8Gb RAM sooner rather than later. They'll also be able to charge more because....APPLE! NEW! MORE GOODER!!!