Apple just unveiled the iPad Air 5, the new mid-range iPad that offers the same performance as the 2021 iPad Pro. That’s thanks to the M1 System-on-Chip (SoC) that powers last year’s Pro and a variety of Macs. But Apple isn’t done updating the iPad Pro line, with the 2022 refresh likely to include the next-gen M2 SoC. The prediction comes from an Apple insider familiar with the company’s plans.
Is there going to be a new iPad Pro in 2022?
Unlike the iPhone, the iPad isn’t the kind of device that requires yearly upgrades. The iPad Air 4 dropped in September 2020, some 18 months before the current generation.
The same goes for the iPad Pro family, which Apple upgrades every 13 to 16 months. The previous generations dropped in March 2016, June 2017, October 2018, March 2020, and April 2021.
Last year’s refresh came just over a year after the 2020 model. But the device delivered three significant specs upgrades that Apple might have wanted to have out as soon as possible. That’s the M1 SoC, the mini-LED display on the 12.9-inch model, and 5G connectivity.
With that in mind, it certainly seems likely that Apple will release an iPad Pro in late 2022. This would bring the high-end tablet to Apple’s regular cadence for iPad Pro releases. What’s exciting about the new tablet is the new M2 SoC that Apple will probably debut in the second half of the year.
The new M2 chip
The new M2 chip should also power the redesigned MacBook Air that Apple should release in the second half of the year. The chip will be a faster, more efficient version of the M1 SoC. Also, it should be built on TSMC’s new 4nm processor.
The M2 should feature an 8-core CPU like its predecessor. But it might sport a better GPU, which could go to nine or ten cores. The M1 came with 7-core and 8-core GPUs. The latter version powers the 2021 iPad Pro and iPad Air 5.
Gurman also expects the 2022 iPad Pro to support MagSafe wireless charging. It’s unclear how the feature would work on an iPad. Wireless charging requires a glass or plastic back instead of metal. It’s likely that Apple will go for glass. Earlier this year, reports claimed that Apple had encountered issues with making an all-glass iPad.
As a result, Apple might make the M2 iPad Pro out of aluminum. But the Apple logo on the back would be larger and made of glass to accommodate the MagSafe charger. However, those reports are unconfirmed, just like Gurman’s M2 claims or the iPad Pro 2022 release window.
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