Apple’s March iPad Pro event – What to expect

Apple, iPad, iOS, iPad Pro, speculation, March
Apple (One-Time Use)

Apple’s next big reveal is expected this spring, around March when it is expected to introduce new iPad Pros, a red iPhone 7 and a higher-capacity iPhone SE. What to expect:

March?

"We've got some exciting things coming on iPad and I'm optimistic about where things are headed," Cook said this month. How soon will we see them? Macotakara believes Apple will hold an event in March to introduce new iPad Pro models in 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch sizes.

Not March

Digitimes counters that there will not be an iPad Pro Mini as the 10.5-inch edge-to-edge display fits the same form factor as the mini. (Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted a 10.5-inch model this year.) Digitimes warns only the new 9.7-inch tablet will ship this side of summer, citing processor production “issues”.

Stock control

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro currently shows a 2-3 week wait before shipping, while the 9.7-inch model is available immediately. This doesn’t guarantee a new product launch in March, but does suggest we may see some change at the high-end of the range.

Edge

Both the 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch models are expected to host edge-to-edge displays and to omit the Home button. They will maintain a small top bezel to provide a place for the iSight camera.

But the size?

Barclays Research has claimed Apple plans to introduce a bezel-free 10.9-inch model in a case that’s the same size as a 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Touch ID and the camera to be built into the display.

Smart Connector

The 7.9-inch model will feature the same Smart Connector technology you find on current iPad Pros. That’s the discreet, magnetic connector that lets you use your Smart Keyboard with the device, which suggests:

New Keyboards

New sizes? New keyboards. Will older ones still fit?

12-megapixel

The 7.9-inch model will feature a 12-megapixel iSight camera with TrueTone LED flash, the report claims. These improvements seem likely to extend to the rest of the new iPad Pro range.

Fast as Macs

The smaller iPad Pro will use Apple’s A9X processor, while the top-of-the-range models will deploy the company’s insanely fast A10X chip, which is four times as fast as the current chip. The top of the range iPad Pros will be faster than some Macs.

Wide Color

The 12.9-inch model should gain the DCI-P3 wide color display the 9.7-inch model currently enjoys.

Four speakers

Apple will maintain the four-speaker system you find in current models.

Wireless charging

There is some speculation we may see wireless charging debut in these iPads. I’m doubtful. I can imagine it for…

Apple Pencil 2

Previous reports have discussed Apple Pencil 2, with better battery life and improved connectivity, coupled with software tweaks designed to make it much more useful across a wider range of apps.

Headphone jack

Mac Otakara also claims the new iPads will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.

More memory

With a focus on performance, it’s reasonable to anticipate more RAM inside these new iPads. Capacity should increase.

Software gets serious

A Bloomberg report claimed Apple will also introduce new software features designed to make the iPad experience even more impressive. Things like a faster and more responsive touch surface, smooth on-screen zooming, panning and scrolling

And iPhones

With Apple set to begin manufacturing iPhone SE in India over the next couple of months it has always made some sense to anticipate some improvements in the entry-level iPhone.

People don’t seem to pay much attention to the highly successful iPhone, and the only upgrade that’s been predicted so far is a 128GB max capacity bump. I

also anticipate improved cameras and processors (though most don’t agree) as Apple moves to ensure its iOS ecosystem is capable of the kinds of computational performance its low-end competitors can never hope to match.The reports also claim Apple will introduce RED editions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

What next?

Will these improvements be enough to counter the decline in iPad sales? They fell around 20 percent year-on-year in Apple’s Q1 FY 2017, with many commentators pointing out that with Macs and iPhone to invest in, iPads remain a ‘nice to have’, rather than something people cannot live without. It also appears consumers use these products for 3-5 years, a much longer upgrade path than most Apple products.

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

Got a story?Drop me a line via Twitter. I'd like it if you chose to follow me there so I can let you know when fresh items are published here first on Computerworld.

Computerworld's IT Salary Survey 2017 results
Shop Tech Products at Amazon