Apple’s biggest launch of the year is behind us now that the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are available in dozens of markets around the world. Of course, the world’s biggest consumer tech company still has plenty more in store for us this year. The release of the third next-generation iPhone model of 2018 is obviously still in front of us, with iPhone XR pre-orders set to open next week ahead of an October 26th release. But there are several new Apple products that will be released this year that haven’t even been announced yet.
That’s right, Apple fans: there’s one more Apple event in store for us ahead of the 2018 holiday shopping season. It’s expected to take place at some point in the next two weeks, and Apple has plenty in store for us. New accessories like next-gen AirPods and a new Apple Pencil are rumored to be debuting during the event, and we’ll likely see some updates to the Mac line as well. The stars of the show will probably be Apple’s new iPad Pro tablets though, and now a new leak may have shown us Apple’s completely overhauled design ahead of schedule.
Over the years, Apple’s iPad lineup has grown less and less exciting. iPads are still the best all-around tablets money can buy, but the category itself has been steadily fading from consumers’ radars. Smartphone screens get bigger and bigger each year, and full-blown laptops like Chromebooks have gotten more compact and affordable than ever. As a result, fewer people are buying tablets these days than they were just a few short years ago.
Of course, “fewer” is relative. Tens of millions of tablets are still sold each and every quarter, and iPads make up a big chunk of those sales. If you’re in the market for a new high-end iPad right now though, you should definitely hold off on pulling the trigger. Apple has long been rumored to be planning a revamp of its iPad Pro lineup in 2018, and we’ll finally see the new slates get official in the next couple of weeks. But you definitely don’t have to wait that long to see what Apple has in store.
The image above was posted to Slashleaks by a user named “Leakspinner” who has a decent track record with accuracy. It allegedly shows 3D CAD files from a factory in China that detail the next-generation iPad Pro’s design and dimensions.
While Apple’s current iPad Pro tablets feature a design that looks a bit like a big flattened iPhone, it appears as though Apple’s upcoming new models will feature a fresh design that strays from Apple’s current iPhones. The screen won’t feature a notch, of course, since there is still plenty of space in the bezels around the display to hide the TrueDepth camera system that will bring Face ID to Apple’s new iPads. But beyond that, the new iPad Pro models appear to have a new design with flat edges all the way around the perimeter. Apple’s iPhone XS and XR series features rounded edges. In fact, Apple hasn’t released a mobile device with flat edges since the iPhone SE back in 2016.
The leaked photos also show new display dimensions, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Like Apple’s new iPhones, the 2018 iPad Pro models will ditch the home button so that the displays can occupy more space. According to these leaked images, the smaller iPad Pro will sport an 11-inch display, up from 10.5 inches on last year’s model. The larger iPad Pro is listed as having a 13-inch screen, which would be a marginal increase from 12.9 inches on the current model. Both iPads appear to be less than 6mm thick.
If all goes according to plan, Apple will send out invitations to the press in the next few days for its October 2018 event. It’s unclear how soon the new iPad Pro models will be released, though a launch could still take place before the end of the month.