Next-generation iPad reports have been all over the map when it comes to an actual release date. One day after MacRumors reported that Apple is planning a late-March event for its iPad refresh, the DigiTimes claims the event has been moved to April. Citing supply chain sources, the Taiwanese site reported today that Apple will unveil its new iPad lineup in early April to "mark the inauguration" of its new headquarters in California.
iPad Pro 2
Apple is planning to launch its next line of iPad models "later this month, most likely between Monday, March 20 and Friday, March 24," according to MacRumors. Citing a "reputable supply chain analyst," the Apple blog reports that the Cupertino company is also gearing up to announce a few other new products besides its new iPad models at the March event.
If you believe all the latest leaks and analyst predictions then Apple is gearing up to release at least 3 new iPad models sometime in the next few weeks. While most reports have indicated a March announcement, Steven Sande of Apple World Today believes Tim Cook and team are waiting until April 4th to launch their new iPad lineup.
Sande points to the current iPad Pro shipping times on apple.com as a sign that the iPad Pro 2 will be available on April 4th. Sande also notes that Apple may be waiting until their new spaceship headquarters in complete to hold their first major keynote of 2017. The new 175-acre campus called Apple Park is slated to open in early April.
The iPad Pro was originally only available in a 32- or 128GB WiFi-only model and a 128GB WiFi + Cellular model. Apple added a 258GB model after the release of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Here is the current price breakdown for all the available iPad Pro models:
While we won't know for sure until Apple holds its next-generation keynote later this year, it is unlikely that the 2017 iPad models will include a standard headphone jack. It is pretty obvious Apple plans to rid the world of wired headphones, and has started the process by eliminating headphone ports from its iOS devices.
Another sign that the iPad Pro 2 and other future iPad models will not ship with a headphone jack is that all current iPad models support Apple's AirPods.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the first iOS devices to ship without a headphone jack.
Both the first-generation iPad Pro models are equipped with 4 built-in, high-fidelity stereo speakers. Both models also contain built-in sensors that adjusts the orientation of the high frequencies to the top speakers. This allows users to be completely immersed in the sound of their music or movie no matter which way they're holding the device. Although nothing has been officially confirmed, it is safe to assume that all future iPad models will include stereo speakers with Apple's latest technology for delivering the best sound experience.
Apple doesn't list the amount of RAM in its iOS products. This means we will have to wait until the iPad Pro 2 is released and somebody tears it down to find out how much RAM it contains. The original 12.9-inch iPad Pro is powered by 4GB of RAM. This will most likely remain the same in the second-generation model.
It is unknown at this time if the second-generation iPad Pro models will come equipped with a USB port but it is highly unlikely. None of Apple's iOS products feature a USB port and both current iPad Pro models sport Apple's own Smart Connector for transferring data and charging hardware. Apple has even killed off the standard USB port in favor of Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports on its newest MacBook Pro models.
Apple isn't known for frequently upgrading its camera technology, however, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro may see an improvement in the camera department when it is launched this spring. The original 12.9-inch iPad Pro is equipped with an 8MP iSight camera, but Apple upgraded its iPad lineup with the introduction of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in 2016. It is safe to assume that the larger iPad Pro will be outfitted with a 12-megapixel iSight camera to match the smaller 9-inch model.
Recent rumors have suggested that Apple will release 3 iPad models in 2017. The rumored models include a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, an unnamed 10.5-inch model and a "low cost" 9.7-inch model. The 10-inch model will purportedly replace the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro in Apple's tablet lineup. If the rumors are true, the only second generation iPad Pro will be the 12.9-inch model.