Apple is planing to unveil major upgrades to the iPad Pro lineup at an event on October 30. The update will include a number of major hardware enhancements to enhance the professional capabilities of the device, which Apple hopes will allow more people to use the device as a main computer.
In addition to the new iPad Pro, Apple is likely to release an all-new MacBook device, with a new design, starting price, and according to one source LTE. The company is also expected to announce an updated Mac mini.
Apple’s previously announced-but-unreleased AirPower wireless charger will not be present, nor will updated AirPods. Apple’s AirPower charger is widely understood to have faced major engineering issues, and has been cancelled in its original capacity, according to our sources.
A New Era for iPad Pro
When the iPad originally launched in 2010, one common criticism was that it was, on paper, just a large iPod touch. This was because Apple refused to add additional software changes to iOS that differentiated the device and took advantage of the larger display. This changed last year when Apple introduced iOS 11, which included a suite of iPad related software enhancements, and also introduced the first pro-iPads, which featured larger displays and support for professional tools like the Apple Pencil.
Apple now hopes to bring this new professional focus full circle with the largest iPad update in the device’s history. Apple will unveil two new models: an updated 12.9-inch model, and a new 11-inch model that will replace the outgoing 10.5-inch iPad Pro. These devices will be the first to not-feature a home button, instead adopting a gesture-based system like the iPhone Xs.
Both models will feature an all new, rounded design, with a screen that almost reaches the corners. While the screen-to-body ratio will be significantly smaller than previous models, it will not be as drastic as the iPhone Xs. Both models will also feature Face ID, and for the first time be able to use it in different orientations.
We expect both models to start at similar price points to their predecessors. They will internally be identical, featuring 4GB of RAM and a new A12X processor.
The new iPad Pros will be the first iOS device to adopt USB-C, replacing Lightning. This will allow for greater compatibility with third-part accessories, as well as support for 4K video-out to an external display.
Apple will also unveil an updated Apple Pencil that will connect wirelessly using a W-chip, as well as a series of new ‘smart’ accessories to work with the new smart connector.
MacBook and Mac mini
Apple is still expected to unveil its widely-rumored entry level MacBook update to replace the MacBook Air at its upcoming event. We now believe the device will replace the current MacBook lineup, offering a new low-cost with modern internals and a larger display.
The new device will feature a 13.3-inch Retina display, with a design that closely matches the current MacBook. It will exclusively use USB-C for I/O, and come in various colors. Unlike the outgoing MacBook, the laptop will use Intel’s I-Series chipset, as opposed to the less efficient and more expensive m-series currently being used. Apple has been targeting an aggressive starting price of $899 for the new machine throughout the last year, but one source said to expect a starting price of $999.
In addition to these specifications, two sources told us that Apple has been testing versions of the device featuring LTE capabilities throughout much of the second and third quarters of the year. While we are unsure this capability will ship with the final model, we expect it to be available at a premium if available.
Apple is also planning an updated Mac mini that should be unveiled at the event. It will feature a new design that will allow for easy upgrading of internals and likely start at $599.
Binyamin has been writing about Apple and the tech sector as a whole for over five years.
His work has been featured on Forbes, MacWorld, Giga, MacLife, and more.
Additionally, Goldman is the Founder of BZG, a software development company focusing on Apple devices.
Currently a Senior Writer at AppleToolbox, Goldman has written for Updato and Inside Pulse and was a founding member of WatchAware and Mulling Apple.