Chinks in the armor
However, if you think about some of the more prevalent iPhone and Apple Watch rumors, you can build some kind of idea of what to expect from iPad Pro 2. There’s even a (questionable) picture to take a look at.
Apple introduced the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in September 2015. I don’t expect it will want to distract attention from iPhone 7 and Apple Watch by announcing new pro tablets next month, but it’s reasonable to hope for an October/November iPad Pro/future of the Mac event.
Apple is expected to shove an A10 chip inside of iPhone 7. What’s important about this is that the processor seems to be at least as fast as the A9X processor you’ll find inside the current iPad Pro. The A9X is itself a faster version of the A9 you find inside iPhone 6S phones. So just how fast might the A10X processor be? This will open up new opportunities for app development, which will itself enable developers to cut out a few more reasons to use a PC.
Apple has a tendency to make each generation product faster and thinner than the last. You know the company has made advances in display technology and processor development and we all expect Apple Watch to be thinner due to a range of new display technologies, some of which could make it to iPad.
We hear Apple intends putting 3GB RAM inside the new iPhones. That’s not as much as you’ll find inside the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but 50 percent more RAM than runs the 9.7-inch model. I’m betting we’ll see a similar RAM increase in the smaller iPad Pro 2.
Dual lens camera
Apple is expected to use new dual lens camera technology in iPhone 7. This is likely part of the reason for the RAM bump in the smartphone.
iPad Pro watchers will know of the discrepancies between the existing iPad Pro models. The 9.7-inch model has a True Tone display. The larger model doesn’t. The 9.7-inch model has a 12-megapxel camera. The larger model has just 8-MP. The 9.7-inch model has LivePhotos; the other does not. You get 4K video recording on the smaller iPad Pro, but not on the larger. It’s reasonable to expect these differences to disappear.
Apple is expected to ditch the low-end 16GB iPhone to replace it with a 32GB minimum capacity. This would match the 32GB low of the iPad Pro, but does raise the possibility of a 64GB base model pro-tablet.
Apple may cast these new devices using the same 7,000 series aluminum used in Apple Watch. At the least you can expect improvements in the glass – while the 9.7-inch model has a Sapphire crystal lens cover, the larger model currently doesn’t.
There are claims Apple may put iPhone 7 components carried inside an enclosed System on Chip container as used inside Apple Watch. Why wouldn’t it do something similar for iPad Pro 2? Benefits would include improved hardiness and better water resistance.
More like a Mac
I think Federico Viticci had some good insight when he noted that when you use spotlight search on an iPad running iOS 10 you see results in a translucent window, like a Mac. He also notes Apple seemed reticent on iPad news at WWDC (it did). I’d argue iPad is of huge importance to Apple, and given its recent iPad ad, I expect even more Mac-like behavior in the iPad-focused iOS 10.2 update.
That audio jack
Apple is expected to ditch the audio jack in iPhone 7. Will it do the same on iPad Pro? It’s reasonable to assume so.
The future of the mechanical Home button has been subject to speculation for years. Most recent speculation claims iPhone 7 replaces it with a haptic version. If it does, Apple will probably do the same on iPad Pro at some point, though this may not appear until 2018).
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