Apple iPad Pro With M2 Chip Expected Shortly

First update to Apple’s Pro tablet line in 18 months is expected to land “in a matter of days”, at least according to noted Apple leaker Mark Gruman.

Gruman in his Bloomberg newsletter at the weekend, confirmed that that Apple “next iPad Pro is arriving in a matter of days.”

The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions of the pro tablet devices are expected to include the same powerful M2 processor found in the latest MacBook Air.

New iPad, iPad Pro

Indeed, according to Bloomberg’s Gruman, the M2 processor is one of the biggest changes to Apple’s pro tablet line in a year and a half, as the processor “will offer a nearly 20 percent speed boost, which isn’t as large a jump as the M1 did last year but nothing to scoff at.”

Apple M2

Visually Gruman says the new iPad Pros will look similar to the pro model from last year, bringing the same flat-edge design into its fourth year.

But Apple is planning to make major changes to its entry-level iPad, which has not seen a major overhaul visually for many years now.

Part of the change is down to the recent approval by the European Union Parliament for the USB-C charging port (i.e. the universal charger).

“Apple is also working on a new entry-level tablet with a USB-C port and a similar design to the iPad Pro, bringing that look to yet another device,” wrote Gruman.

“When it arrives, this new low-end iPad will be the most significant update to that line in several years and mark a bit of a strategy shift: The entry-level product typically only gets annual processor upgrades.”

New operating system

Bloomberg’s Gruman also said that on the software side, Apple is planning to release iPadOS 16.1 – the first iPad version of iOS 16 – around the week of 24 October.

“Development is set to be finished the prior week if all goes to plan,” noted Gruman.

“Apple’s quarterly earnings call takes place on 27 October, and the company has typically launched new products in the days or weeks ahead of that report.”

“I’m told that the new iPad software update and the first version of macOS Ventura add support for the latest iPad Pro models and the next versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro,” wrote Gruman.

“The high-end laptops will get the first M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, more powerful versions of the standard M2. Changes to the laptops will be otherwise minimal.”

MacBook Pro

Gruman also pointed out that the new MacBook Pros are on track to launch in the near future, but he doesn’t expect them to be released alongside the iPad Pro, pointing out that Apple historically launched new Macs in November.

“Apple has traditionally ushered in its late fall iPad and Mac updates with splashy events, but this year’s rollout will be more subdued,” noted Gruman. “Apple will launch the products on its website without the kind of gathering we saw in September with the iPhone 14’s debut.”

“My belief is that Apple has eschewed another event because of the fairly ordinary nature of the announcements,” he wrote. “It’s a slew of updates that amount to spec bumps or seen-before designs. Another factor: Apple is probably saving its marketing energy for the Reality Pro headset debut next year.”

Gruman pointed out that a key part of the next iPad Pro, of course, will be Stage Manager, the company’s new and controversial multitasking interface.

“I still believe that software is disjointed and buggy, but I have no reason to believe Apple will pull it from iPadOS 16.1 and not include it with new models out of the box,” wrote Gruman.

“Apple has attempted to placate Stage Manager critics by deploying the feature to non-M1 iPads, in a reversal, and delaying the buggy external monitor integration until later in 2022. There have also been internal discussions about describing the feature as a beta test, but it’s already optional so I don’t think that would accomplish much.”

Smart home move?

Gruman said that beyond the new iPad Pro, Apple “is looking to eventually push its tablet deeper into the home with a plan to turn the device into a smart hub and speaker. The approach would be similar to what Google is doing with its upcoming Pixel Tablet.”

Google had showcased in May a tablet “with run-of-the-mill Android features. But earlier this month, the company disclosed it would also sell a new accessory that lets you dock the Pixel Tablet and use it like a smart display and home-control device.”

“I’m told Apple is working to bring similar functionality to the iPad as soon as 2023,” reported Gruman. “I reported last year that Apple is exploring a stand-alone device that combines an iPad with a speaker hub. The idea is to offer something that users can place on a kitchen counter, in the living room or on their nightstand. But Apple also has worked on an iPad docking accessory that it could sell separately and would accomplish much of the same thing.”

Gruman said this would mark one of Apple’s most significant pushes into smart-home devices, as despite already offering Apple TV and HomePod, Apple has nothing that can rival “the Echo Show from Amazon.com Inc. or Google’s latest efforts.”

HomePod Mini

Apple also continues to work on an updated version of the HomePod that would be larger than the product’s mini version and a combined Apple TV and smart-speaker device with a camera for FaceTime and other functions, Gruma said.

“The new products will put a bow on a fairly significant year for Apple, which released the Apple Watch Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro, Mac Studio and new iPhone SE in 2022,” Gruman concluded. “But I think next year will even bigger, with the mixed-reality headset, larger MacBook Air, iPhone changes and more home devices all on the way.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

Recent Posts

Meta Refuses EU Release Of Multimodal Llama AI Model

Mark Zuckerberg firm says European regulatory environment too ‘unpredictable’, so will not release multimodal Llama…

25 mins ago

Synchron Announces Brain Interface Chat Powered by OpenAI

Brain implant firm Synchron offers AI-driven emotion and language predictions for users, powered by OpenAI's…

1 hour ago

Amazon Workers In Coventry Fail To Form Union

Amazon workers in Coventry lose union recognition ballot by just a handful of votes, amid…

5 hours ago

US Considers Further Chip Restrictions For China – Report

Stop supplying Beijing. US tells allied chip tech firms it is mulling the most severe…

6 hours ago

Bitcoin ‘Creator’ Craig Wright Admits He Is Not Satoshi Nakamoto

Australian computer scientist Craig Wright referred to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to be considered for…

23 hours ago