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(Pocket-lint) - Apple refreshed its iPad portfolio with the iPad Air in March 2022, featuring the same chip as the iPad Pro models from 2021. 

With the two ranges offering quite a lot of similarities, what will the next iPad Pro models bring to the party to differentiate themselves again, and live up to their "Pro" name?

Here is everything we have heard so far about the next-generation iPad Pro 2022 models.

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Release date and price

  • October 2022?

The Apple iPad Pro 11-inch and iPad Pro 12.9-inch were revealed in May 2021, though there isn't a specific timeline with the iPad Pro models as there is with the likes of the iPhone for example. 

The 4th generation iPad Pro was announced in March 2020 for example, while the 3rd generation was announced in November 2018. With the main pattern not a specific launch month as such, but more that the generations are launched over a year apart, it's possible we could see the 6th generation towards the end of 2022.

Apple typically holds an event or a couple of events in the fall, usually around September and October so we wouldn't be surprised to see the next iPad Pro models revealed then. For now, nothing is official, nor will it be for several months.

In terms of price, the iPad Pro 11-inch starts at $799 in the US and £749 in the UK, while the iPad Pro 12.9-inch starts at $1099 in the US and £999 in the UK. We'd expect a similar ballpark for the new models.

Design

  • Similar to 2021 models
  • Titanium alloy?
  • Triple rear camera
  • Slimmer bezels

Rumours suggest the next-generation iPad Pros will look pretty similar to their predecessors, though it's been said they could be constructed of titanium alloy for better durability and superior scratch resistance and feature slimmer bezels around the display.

Otherwise it seems as though we can expect flat edges and a notch at the top of the screen to allow for Face ID and the front-facing camera. There is talk of an extra camera lens however, with renders suggesting a triple rear camera in a square camera housing in the top right corner.

Display

  • 12.9-inch / 11-inch sizes 
  • Mini-LED on both
  • Also talk of OLED LTPO

There have been a number of contradicting rumours surrounding the displays for the next generation of iPad Pros. Some rumours suggest both the 12.9-inch model and the 11-inch model will make a switch to OLED LTPO displays, whilst continuing to offer ProMotion and a variable refresh rate

Other rumours have said the 12.9-inch will remain as it is with its mini-LED screen, while the 11-inch model will see a move to mini-LED to match the larger model, with neither opting for OLED this time around.

Either way, it is expected that the sizing will continue, with a 12.9-inch model and an 11-inch model.

Specs and hardware

  • M2 chip
  • Up to 2TB storage
  • MagSafe

Based on the leaks so far, the next-generation iPad Pro models will come with the long-rumoured M2 chip. It's thought this chip will offer the same eight-core CPU as the M1 chip, but be faster thanks to a new 4-nanometer fabrication process.

It's also said the next iPad Pro models will feature MagSafe, like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models. If this is the case, we'd expect to see a number of accessories to take advantage of the feature, perhaps like a stand to allow the iPad Pro models to be used as a screen with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse or trackpad, for example.

Not much else has been mentioned in terms of hardware, though as the current iPad Pro models are available in storage options from 128GB to 2TB, we'd expect the same for any new models.

Cameras

  • Triple rear?
  • LiDAR sensor

A triple rear camera has been claimed for the rear of the next iPad Pro models, which would be a slight upgrade from the current models, which only have two lenses.

The leak suggesting the triple camera system didn't specify the make up of the lenses, though did say that a LiDAR sensor was expected. Should a triple camera system appear, we'd expect a similar setup to the iPhone 13 Pro models with a main sensor, ultra wide sensor and a telephoto sensor.

On the front, it is likely we will continue to see at least the 12-megapixel sensor, with features like Center Stage.

Next iPad Pro rumours: What's happened so far?

Here is everything we have heard so far about the next iPad Pro 2022 models.

28 March 2022: Apple iPad Pro with M2 chip and MagSafe charging rumoured for fall release

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claimed in his 27 March Power On newsletter that he expects the next iPad Pro models to launch in the fall and come with the long-rumoured M2 chip.

23 January 2022: Apple iPad Pro 11-inch could upgrade to mini-LED

Leaker @dylandkt tweeted that the iPad Pro 11-inch is expected to get an upgrade to a mini-LED display like the 12.9-inch model in 2022. The Twitter account has since been deleted though.  

21 December 2021: Is this Apple's next iPad Pro? Leaked renders reveal new 2022 design

Leaked images shared by Chinese website MyDrivers, suggested the next Apple iPad Pro model will feature a display notch to accommodate front-facing sensors, a triple camera setup on the back, slimmer bezels, and a design similar to Apple's iPhone 13 series. 

5 October 2021: Apple is planning on bringing OLED to the iPad Pro after all, but not until 2023 at the earliest

Despite reports pointing to Apple expanding mini-LED to the 11-inch iPad Pro and perhaps even an upgraded iPad Air throughout 2022, display experts and insiders are now pinpointing 2023 to 2024 as the year Apple will ultimately bring OLED to the iPad - most likely starting with the 12.9-inch model. 

4 October 2021: Apple tosses OLED iPad plans, will focus on improved mini-LED displays instead

A report by reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo states that the company has ultimately decided to focus on implementing mini-LED across the entire lineup, instead of switching to OLED.

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21 December 2020: The iPad Pro may not receive OLED display until 2022

Despite plenty of rumours indicating an OLED display would be coming to the iPad Pro's next generation, a report suggested the technology won't arrive on Apple tablets until 2022. Instead, the devices face a temporary upgrade to Mini-LED displays before making the full transition to the more advanced OLED in 2022. Only the 12.9-inch model got the mini-LED treatment in 2021 though.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.