Next iPad Pro models could feature smaller bodies, relocated Smart Connector and no headphone jack

2018 iPad Pro concept

The 2018 iPad Pro models will include smaller bodies, a relocated Smart Connector, and ship without a headphone jack. The new tablets, expected to launch this fall, will also include Face ID, according to Japanese site Mac Otakara.

Supply chain sources say the dimensions of the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro will measure 247.5 mm by 178.7 mm by 6 mm, compared to the current size of 250.6 mm by 174.1 mm by 6.1 mm. The 2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro is said to measure 280 mm by 215 mm by 6.4 mm, compared to the current measurements of 305.7 mm by 220.6 mm by 6.9 mm.

The iPad Pro redesign, long expected, will mean smaller bezels, but larger displays. With Face ID, the tablets will also include a TrueDepth camera, similar to the one found on the iPhone X.

Instead of being located on the side like last year’s models, the Smart Connector on the 2018 iPad Pro is being moved to the bottom of the device near the Lightning port. Mac Otakara says that it is “impossible to release the lock with the main unit turned sideways.”

In May, Mac Otakara said Face ID would work in both vertical and horizontal orientation in iOS 12. On the current iPhone X, Face ID only works vertically.

With regards to the removal of the headphone jack, the report only says that Apple decided to remove it. Cupertino began eliminating headphone jacks on iPhones since the iPhone 7 was released in 2016, so this news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Without a headphone jack, users will need to use the Lightning Port for audio or Bluetooth. None of this year’s iOS devices are expected to ship with a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter. Apple has never shipped headphones with iPads.

Everything about this report makes sense except for the part about moving the Smart Connector. The connector’s sole purpose up until this point has been to attach physical keyboards to the tablet. Because of this, a vertically attached keyboard makes absolutely no sense.

We should know soon enough. Apple’s expected to announce its 2018 iOS device lineup at a press event in September. In addition to two new iPad Pro models, the company’s likely to announce a second-generation 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X, all-new 6.5-inch OLED “iPhone X Plus,” and 6.1-inch LCD iPhone.

What do you think of these latest rumors about this year’s iPad Pro lineup? Let us know below.

2018 iPad Pro mockup courtesy of Álvaro Pabesio