If you wanted to physically preview the newly released 10.5- or 12.9-inch iPad Pro before making the plunge on a new tablet, the new models are now in Apple's retail stores. Both models have been released to 38 countries including the U.S., Australia, Canada, China and Japan.
iPad Pro 2
As expected, Apple on Monday announced its next-generation iPad Pro at WWDC 2017 in San Jose, California. The new 10.5-inch slate replaces the previous 9.7-inch model with a faster and more powerful tablet without drastically altering weight or form factor. The 10.5-inch model offers almost the same physical dimensions as its predecessor since it shaves off the side bezels. This means the new iPad Pro is almost all screen offering users more real estate with a full-size on-screen keyboard.
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.
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.
Update (09/12/16): Apple increased the prices of the second-generation iPad Pro on September 12, 2016. The prices below reflect the increase.
Apple announced the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro alongside its new 10.5-inch model on June 5, 2017 in San Jose, CA. Here are the available colors, storage capacities and prices for the 12.9-inch model. You can see the prices for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro here.
12.9-inch iPad Pro (second generation)
Yes, both the 10.5- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models ship with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, Smart Connector and Lightning connector.
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.
No, none of Apple's iOS devices are equipped with a USB port. This includes the 10.5- and both 12.9-inch iPad models (1st and 2nd generation). The iPad Pro 2 is equipped with Apple's Smart Connector, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and Lighting connector. The Smart Connector works with Apple's Smart Keyboard.