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Report: Apple to introduce a refreshed iPad Pro with Face ID later this year

iPad Pro Features

According to a new research report from Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang (via Barron’s), Apple’s next-gen iPad Pro — much like the iPhone X — will do away with the home button and will instead rely upon facial recognition for authentication purposes. Hardly a surprise, Apple tends to prefer design consistency across the flagship devices in its product lineup. Moreover, some recently unearthed code in the first iOS 11.3 beta contained subtle clues pointing towards a revamped iPad Pro featuring Apple’s TrueDepth camera system.

As to when Zhang believes a next-gen iPad Pro might see the light of day, he writes that it will likely be available sometime before the end of the June quarter. This timeline of course makes sense given that Apple in June of last year announced a brand new 10.5-inch iPad Pro at WWDC.

For the June quarter, Zhang estimates that iPad production will fall somewhere in the 16-18 million range, of which 6-8 million of those units will likely be iPad Pro models featuring Face ID.

Incidentally, one notable feature the iPad Pro will likely not borrow from the iPhone X is an OLED display, which is to say the device will feature an LCD display. As to why, we’ve seen reports suggesting that there are economic and technical limitations which currently limit Samsung’s ability to manufacture larger OLED panels for iPad-style devices at scale.

Incidentally, Zhang echoes a report we saw earlier in the claiming that Apple later this year will introduce a smaller and more affordable HomePod.

Lastly, Zhang claims that iPhone X sales have been slower than Apple anticipated. Hardly a new take on the matter, a recent survey conducted by Piper Jaffray found that many current Phone owners haven’t upgraded to the iPhone X yet because it’s simply too expensive.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.