Apple minimized the bezels around the 10.5-inch iPad Pro when it launched last year, then got rid of the bezels entirely on the new iPhone X. Soon, the successor to the 2017 iPad Pro may get the X factor, and strip away almost everything around the display, plus add Face ID and other features seen on the iPhone X. There’s nothing official yet, but the rumors about the 2018 iPad Pro are gathering already. Here’s what we think we know about it.
Rumors suggested Apple may announce an iPad Pro at its education-focused event in Chicago on March 27. We can now confirm this to be false as all Apple announced is a refreshed budget iPad that costs $330. The next possible debut could be at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which begins on June 4 in San Jose, California.
The 2018 iPad Pro may share a similar look to the iPhone X, losing the home button and shrinking down the bezels, but avoiding the iPhone X’s controversial “notch” above the screen. To give us an idea about how such a tablet may look, a render has been created and shared on Twitter. It’s not an official design, or even a leak of one, but is an interesting glimpse of Apple’s possible direction for an iPhone X-inspired iPad.
While bezels around the screen remain, they’re minimal, and they’re uniform all the way round unlike the iPhone X. There is no home button, a fixture of the iPad since its launch, tying the render in with recent rumors next year’s model will use Face ID to secure and unlock the device. It’s not clear where the Face ID camera or other sensors housed in the X’s notch are located. The shape and rear panel design shown in the render is consistent with the current iPad models.
FaceID and screen
Face ID replaced TouchID on the iPhone X, and it may do the same on at least one 2018 iPad Pro model. The rumor has spread for a while, with Bloomberg most recently quoting anonymous sources saying we should expect both slimmer bezels and the FaceID technology on a new iPad. Removing the home button, and therefore TouchID, will make it possible to shrink the bezels, said the source.
It’s expected the FaceID-equipped 2018 iPad will have a screen size similar to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, although the body may be smaller due to the minimal bezels. While the iPhone X has an OLED screen, this is unlikely to be replicated on the new iPad, due to supply constraints for such large OLED panels.
Before this, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a proven track record when it comes to Apple rumors, wrote in a note to investors that the next 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will have a Face ID experience “consistent with the iPhone X.” Face ID uses a neural engine to map the contours and shapes of faces in real time. It isn’t confused by hairstyles, hats, or beards, and it even works in the dark. Even with that flexibility, Apple says there’s only a one-in-a-million chance someone could circumvent the system, as opposed to a one-in-50,000 chance with Touch ID.
New Apple Pencil
The Pencil stylus may get an update with the 2018 iPad range. Anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg hinted a new version, complete with new software features and tools, is being prepared. Finer details about what to expect have not been leaked at this time.
We’ll keep you updated on all the 2018 Apple iPad Pro range news and rumors here, so check back often.
Updated on March 27: Updated after the Apple event saw no iPad Pro.