Apple iPad 2020 And iPad Pro 2020: Everything We Know So Far
Feb. 11, 2020
Apple’s next iPad will be announced soon. The very first one was revealed by Steve Jobs at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts ten years ago, on Wednesday January 27 , 2010.
So, what will Apple reveal in terms of tablets this year? Here’s everything we know so far…
When will the next Apple iPad launch?
Apple likes symmetry, and it tends to release iPads in the Spring, usually in March and in the Fall, in September or October. Since the first iPad went on sale in March 2010, I’m betting that Apple will release its next tablet in March, too.
March 2020, then? Will it be an iPad, iPad Air, iPad Pro or what?
You can never predict with Apple. But the most recent tablet from Apple was the latest entry-level iPad, unveiled in September 2019 alongside the iPhone 11. It was pretty ground-breaking, adding smart keyboard support, and for the first time increasing the screen size of the main iPad from the 9.7 inches first seen in Steve Jobs’ hands in 2010. The entry-level machine now has a 10.2-inch display.
Since it was refreshed so recently, I think it’s not what we’ll see this Spring.
That leaves the iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad Pro. The mini was updated relatively recently, so that leaves Air and Pro.
I’m guessing it’s going to be the iPad Pro, last updated in October 2018.
In the last few days, it was reported by MacRumors that respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that, along with a new 4.7-inch iPhone, Ultra Wideband tags and high-end headphones, that the next iPad Pro will be revealed in the first half of 2020. That probably points to March as well, as Apple doesn’t have as much of a history of releasing hardware at its other calendar shoo-in, the World Wide Developers Conference in June.
Latest Apple iPad deals
Apple iPad from Apple and Amazon
This entry-level iPad with 10.2in display, with wi-fi connectivity and 32GB storage is already excellent value at $329. The aluminum finish comes in three colors, silver, space gray and gold. Buy it from Apple in silver, here , in space gray, here and in gold, here . But you can snag a real bargain at Amazon where it’s $80 off, that’s just $249. Buy it in silver, here , in space gray, here , and in gold, here .
Apple iPad Air from Apple and Amazon
Or try the iPad Air that squeezes a bigger, better 10.5in display into the same physical size as the entry-level iPad. It also has a faster processor than the regular iPad. The iPad Air with wi-fi only and 64GB storage, sells for $499. Buy it from Apple in silver, here , in space gray, here and in gold, here . Or take $40 off at Amazon, where it’s $459. Buy it in silver, here , in space gray, here and in gold which is much cheaper, $399.99, that’s $99.01 off, here .
Apple iPad Pro from Apple and Amazon
The iPad Pro is more expensive but much more powerful. It has Face ID instead of the Touch ID on other iPads, and is compatible with the second-generation Pencil. It comes in two screen sizes, 11in and 12.9in, and two finishes, space gray and silver.
Prices start at $799 for 11in with wi-fi only and 64GB storage. Buy it from Apple in silver here , or space gray, here . Amazon has the same tablet for $124.01 less, that’s $674.99 in space gray only. Buy it in space gray, here .
Prices start at $999 for 12.9in with wi-fi only and 64GB storage. Buy it from Apple in silver here , or space gray, here . Amazon’s price is $124.01 off for the space gray only, so $874.99. Buy it in space gray, here .
What will be new in a Spring iPad Pro? How about the camera?
One recent rumor, from Steve H McFly AKA @OnLeaks suggests there will be a triple-lens camera on the back of the tablet, matching the photographic capabilities of that other pro, the iPhone 11 Pro.
The iPad, let’s remember, every iPad, has the same ergonomic shape as ten years ago: a flat, large, glass-and-metal slab which is honestly not very conducive to taking photos. It requires careful balancing in the hand and even the introduction of image stabilization didn’t overcome the problems it has as a camera.
Mind you, when it comes to framing your shots, it’s a doozy – the large display is wonderful. Anyway, I have a suspicion that the arrival of some fairly deluxe photographic components may not just be to take photos.
Apple’s focus on Augmented Reality is well-known and as more sophisticated AR apps come on stream, they will require advanced hardware to make the most of them. So, putting the best iPhone cameras ever in a tablet could make sense for that, too.
How about a Time-of-flight camera?
This is the special kind of camera which uses LED or laser to near-instantly measure the environment in 3D. Not exactly coincidentally, a time-of-flight sensor can benefit AR experiences as well as photo effects like portrait mode.
One recent rumor, as reported by MacRumors , is that the next iPad Pro will include a time-of-flight sensor.
For me, this seems less likely. Although the iPhones due to be released in the autumn are predicted to have this technology on board, putting it on an iPad earlier in the year seems more far-fetched. Perhaps if the Pro is released in the Fall, though…
Smart keyboard upgrade
It seems a serious upgrade is coming. You can read every detail about it here , but the standout features are that it will have scissor-switch keys, that is, the mechanism will be upgraded to match the sublime Magic Keyboard on the latest MacBook Pro 16in laptop (read my review of that here ).
Oh, and the keys will be backlit, which will be fantastic. There’s no reason why this upgrade couldn’t apply to the keyboard available for the iPad Air and entry-level iPad but my bet is that the Pro will get this benefit first.
Processor A13X or A14X?
Apple introduced the A series of chips with the very first iPad back in 2010, when Steve Jobs said, “And it’s all our own silicon.” It was a detail overlooked at the time but it stuck in my head as an interesting side mention. Since then, the numbering has updated each year with, occasionally, the next processor landing on the iPad before the iPhone. On the iPad, the processor number is often suffixed with an X.
The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max all have the same chip, the A13 Bionic. So, the next iPad Pro could have the A13X or, just possibly, it could leap forward to the A14X.
Currently, the entry-level iPad has the A10 processor, the iPad Air has the A12 Bionic and the iPad Pro the A12X. My gut feeling is the next iPad Pro will have the A13X.
But Apple is pushing the iPad Pro as something way more powerful than man laptops, so it’s just possible that a newly-minted and numbered chip may appear. Ming-Chi Kuo has mentioned A14X but says he expects it to be end-2020.
How about mini LED?
The topic of screen tech has also been commented on by Ming-Chi Kuo. He has said several times that Apple will move the display technology in the iPad from LCD to mini LED. That’s different from OLED, as used by Samsung in its phones and tablets. Kuo had previously said the iPad and MacBook screens could be mini LED from 2020 or 2021. However, a more recent rumor has him saying that late 2020 is more likely.
That makes it too late for the Spring update we’re hoping for, so either that update is coming later or mini LED will be missing for now. Mini LED, like OLED, is a system where each pixel is individually lit, offering great contrast levels and rich colors, but avoiding the burn-in risks which come with OLED. This matters less on an iPhone where the screen is constantly changing what it’s showing, but more for a screen that’s not moving or has static elements such as a menu bar on a MacBook display, for instance.
The first 5G iPhones are expected in the Fall. Last September, when the iPhone 11 was launched, many critics feared Apple would lose out because it had no 5G capability. Apple got it right, as the latest financials have shown, when it figured that people aren’t yet that bothered about 5G. When a killer app emerges which needs the high speeds and low latency 5G offers, things will change.
And by the Fall, the nascent 5G networks will be much more advanced.
However, I find it unlikely that 5G will appear in the iPad before the iPhone. It’s not impossible – 4G landed on the Apple tablet first – but my guess is no.
Those are all the latest iPad and iPad rumors for now. Please check back as I’ll be updating this post regularly in the run-up to the releases of tablets in 2020.
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