Last year’s iPad Pro range brought significant changes to the premium iPad duo. As well as an upgraded Mini-LED display on the 12.9in model, Apple introduced its desktop chipset – the Apple M1 – to the range, allowing the tablets to harness the impressive processing power and battery efficiency usually exclusive to desktops and laptops.
While that’s impressive enough, Apple is hard at work on the next iPad Pro range behind closed doors. We round up all there is to know about the iPad Pro (2022) range right here, including the latest release date rumours and what to expect from the upcoming tablets.
When will the iPad Pro (2022) range be released?
With the iPad Pro (2021) now around a year old, Apple is expected to release an update soon – though not as soon as some might hope.
Going back to the release of the first-gen iPad Pro 11 in 2018, here’s how the iPad Pro release schedule looks:
- iPad Pro range (2018): November 2018
- iPad Pro range (2020): March 2020
- iPad Pro range (2021): May 2021
As you can see, it’s not quite as clear-cut as the Apple Watch or iPhone, which tend to debut in September every year, but there is a vague first-half-of-the-year schedule over the past few years.
However, it looks like that trend is set to change in 2022, with no mention of the iPad Pro at Apple’s March 2022 event – instead, it focused on the
iPad Air 5,
iPhone SE 3 and new Mac Studio, with Apple’s Pro range set to take centre stage later in the year.
Some might’ve hoped that WWDC 2022 would’ve been a candidate – it did announce the
new MacBook Air and the M2 chip, after all – but the Pro-level iPads were a no-show.
Twitter leaker @dylandkt suggested in a now-deleted tweet that the iPad Pro “is coming in the Fall” – or Autumn to those of us in the UK, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman backed up this claim months later in March 2022.
Speaking in his
Power On! newsletter, Gurman suggests that the launch will take place between September and November this year, mirroring the 16-18 month gap that Apple tends to follow for its Pro releases (aside from the 2021 update, that is!).
With all that said, it seems we shouldn’t expect the release of the new iPad Pro range until later this year, possibly in October – Apple wouldn’t want to overshadow the release of the iPhone 14, after all.
If you can’t wait that long, take a look at our
iPad buying guide to find out which is the best tablet for you right now, and we list the best.
How much will the iPad Pro (2022) range cost?
Much like the release date, there’s no word on possible pricing for the iPad Pro (2022) range, so we’ll reflect on past base pricing to give us a rough idea:
- iPad Pro 12.9in (2020): £969/$999
- iPad Pro 11in (2020): £769/$799
- iPad Pro 12.9in (2021): £999/$1,099
- iPad Pro 11in (2021): £749/$799
As you can see, Apple isn’t afraid to tweak the pricing of the iPad Pro range from time to time. While the iPad Pro 11in (2021) is actually £20 cheaper in the UK than its predecessor, the iPad Pro 12.9in model saw a £30/$100 increase this time around – likely due to the upgraded mini-LED display.
That said, it doesn’t like to dramatically increase the price of an already-premium tablet range, so while the iPad Pro 11in may go up slightly depending on the upgrades on offer, we can’t see the 12.9in model breaking the sacred £1,000/$1,100 mark.
Latest iPad Pro (2022) design & feature rumours
Apple has spent the past year syncing the design language of its product range, with the
iPad Mini 6 and
iPhone 13 sporting the same industrial, angular look as the iPad Pro range.
With that in mind, we don’t expect Apple to redesign the wheel – or more appropriately, the iPad Pro – with its 2022 refresh. There will be a range of new features of course, and the rumour mill has been churning away.
Mini-LED on 11in model
One of the most prevalent rumours right now is arguably one of the most obvious; the 11in iPad Pro (2022) is expected to match the 12.9in model’s Mini-LED display, after missing out on the tech in the 2021 range. The news comes from the eerily accurate Ming-Chi Kuo, suggesting in a
July 2021 note to investors that the iPad Pro 11in and
MacBook Air will both get the mini-LED upgrade in 2022.
Twitter leaker @Dylandkt also believes that Mini-LED will be present on both models, stating that “all iPad Pro models will have a MiniLED display” in a
late January 2022 tweet.
As we’ve seen from the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021), the upgraded display tech is a huge step forward from the standard LCD display used by previous-gen tablets. It allows not only more control over contrast with truly inky blacks, but it produces vibrant colours and it’s impressively bright too.
In fact, Tech Advisor Editor Jim Martin described the Mini-LED display as “phenomenal” in his 4.5 star
iPad Pro 12.9in (2021) review.
Glass rear for wireless charging
Despite not changing the overall form factor of the upcoming range, the new models of iPad Pro are rumoured to sport glass backs in place of the aluminium currently used. The reason for the switch to glass, according to
Bloomberg, is to enable wireless charging to the iPad range for the first time.
The claim was backed up again in September 2021, with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman
doubling down on the glass rear and reverse wireless charging capabilities of the upcoming iPad Pro range. Given the fact that it’s readily available (not to mention a hugely popular feature) on the iPhone range, it makes sense for the tech to finally make an appearance on Apple’s tablet range.
In the same report, Bloomberg also suggests that the transition to a glass back will also enable reverse wireless charging for the first time. This would allow owners to charge a Qi-enabled iPhone or AirPods by placing them on the rear of the tablet – handy for quick top-ups.
A follow-up report in early 2022
from 9to5Mac suggests differently though. According to “sources familiar with Apple’s design plans”, the glass rear design might’ve been scrapped due to how fragile it’d make the device compared to its current aluminium body.
Instead, the company is developing prototypes with a larger Apple logo (similar in size to that of the new MacBook Pro) made entirely from glass to allow for wireless power transfer. The report also suggests that it’ll feature magnets – much like MagSafe on the iPhone – but with “stronger magnets to prevent accidents” and it’ll charge faster than iPhone models do too.
The inclusion of MagSafe has also been teased by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in a March 2022 edition of his Power On! newsletter.
As with all rumours, it’s worth taking this with a pinch of salt – especially given the disagreement among leakers. In fact,
leaker @Dylandkt claims that they’ve heard “nothing but concerns from multiple sources” about the wireless charging/MagSafe capabilities, so it may get pushed back or canned altogether.
As well as a glass rear and reverse wireless charging, one analyst suggests the iPad Pro could get an updated design – though the leaker isn’t sure if it’s for this year’s model, or it’s just something in the works behind closed doors at Apple Park.
Discussing the leak via Twitter,
@dylandkt suggests that a new iPad Pro could feature a horizontal camera placement and a horizontal Apple logo to match, with the ‘default’ orientation of the Pro tablets switching from portrait to landscape.
There’s no mention of other iPads getting the same treatment, and while that may sound odd at first, the Pro range does lend itself more to landscape scenarios than other tablets in Apple’s range. Creatives tend to draw in landscape orientation, editors edit in landscape and it’s in landscape when used with the Magic Keyboard too.
Of course, with no mention of the reorientation in any other design leaks, it’s worth taking this one with a pinch of salt, but it’s certainly an interesting idea.
M1 Pro, M1 Max, or M2 chipset
Given Apple’s transition to the M1 chipset on the iPad Pro (2021) range, it’s safe to assume that one of its successors will be featured in the 2022 range – especially now that the mid-range iPad Air also features an M1 chipset.
This could be either of the M1 Pro or M1 Max chips found in the
redesigned 14 & 16in MacBook Pro range, perhaps with the Pro found in the smaller iPad Pro and the Max included in the larger model.
It’s also possible that Apple will debut a next-gen M2 chip in 2022, and that could power the new iPad Pros – something that leaker
@dylandkt predicts – which would explain why Apple has allegedly pushed the release of the range back to Autumn 2022.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also suggests that the M2 could be on the cards for the new iPad Pro range, claiming that the new chipset’s CPU will be slightly faster than the M1 but will pack the same eight-core architecture.
Improved accessibility features
While it might not be exclusive to the iPad Pro range, Apple has taken the unusual step of confirming a number of new and improved accessibility features headed to iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 later this year. While features like Door Detection are primarily aimed at iPhone users, there are a few iPad-focused features coming too.
One of the most popular accessibility features coming to iPadOS 16 is Live Captioning. As the name suggests, the feature will caption any audio in real-time, including in video calls via the likes of Zoom and FaceTime, as well as social apps like Instagram and Snapchat.
What’s more, the feature can also be used in real life to provide captioning when talking to someone close by – ideal for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
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