The fourth-generation iPad Pro models powered by Apple’s next-generation A14 Bionic chip are thought to see an official announcement in September of this year alongside 5G iPhones, despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Asian supply chain.
Apple traditionally unveils new iPhones in September, while new iPads get their own event in October (sans the original iPad Pro release in 2015 and some other announcements). Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes notes in a pair of paid reports that both the next Apple smartphone and tablet will be announcing via a single event in September.
In its first report, DigiTimes notes that the Cupertino tech giant is “likely sticking” to its plans to unveil the next iPhone models at a product event in September.
That report cautions that mass production of the new iPhones could be delayed until after June due to the coronavirus. With more than six months left before a September event, the coronavirus situation could get a lot worse and force Apple to delay the announcement.
DigiTimes itself states that an October announcement is possible in an unfortunate case that contract manufacturers are unable to produce enough devices for launch.
Apple’s demand for 5nm A14 mobile application processors to support its 5G devices is likely to be 50-60 parent higher than that for its 7nm A13 chip, highlighting the company’s determination to strengthen is market share in the 5G segment.
It all depends whether mass production of the upcoming new iPhone models gets delayed until after June due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Apple’s manufacturing partners may not be able resume normal production in China anytime soon in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, but it does not seem to be derailing the vendor’s plan of launching the next-generation iPhones in September.
Apple typically delivers iPhone components to manufacturers in May or June for final assembly work. Prior rumors said the next iPad Pro would see an announcement in March of this year.
As MacRumors observes, this would make more sense from a timing perspective because the iPad Pro has been updated on roughly an 18-month cycle since 2015 “and it will have been eighteen months since the iPad Pro was last updated in October 2018”.
The next iPad Pro and the upcoming 5G-enabled iPhone 12 models are widely expected to run Apple’s next-generation A14 Bionic silicon fabbed on TSMC’s latest five-nanometer process technology. The next iPad Pro will likely use a more powerful version of the chip (“A14X Bionic”) with additional GPU cores and higher clock frequencies.
Both the new iPhone and iPad Pro should support a combination of mmWave and sub-6GHz, with chip maker Qualcomm expected to supply its Snapdragon X55 modems for iPhones.
The DigiTimes story corroborates earlier reports claiming that the next iPhone and iPad Pro will use enhanced rear cameras with time-of-flight sensors for improved augmented reality applications and better depth-of-field photography.