New iPad Rumors: Release Date, Specs & More post WWDC 2018

WWDC 2018 has come and gone without any new hardware announcements. Still, features revealed about Apple's latest iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS 12, give us tantalizing hints about the iPad(s) that are sure to come later in the year. The first iPad was released on April 3, 2010, and Apple has since released five more generations of the tablet, as well as four generations of the iPad mini, two generations of the iPad Air, and two generations of the iPad Pro. Apple currently offers three different iPad models: the recently announced 9.7–inch iPad 2018, a 10.5 and 12.9–inch iPad Pro, and a 7.9–inch iPad mini. We're expecting the announcement of new hardware this year, including a few new iPad Pros, and hoping for several long-awaited features to be incorporated into the tablet. There's also a hint at an iPad mini 5, although I'm not so sure about that. Let's discuss when the new Apple products may be released, which upgrades and improvements to expect, and all the other iPad hints and rumors we've been collecting for the past several months. There's no way to know exactly what Apple has in mind until an official announcement, but we can have fun piecing together clues and making educated guesses in the meantime! 

Related: Which iPad Do I Have? How to Identify the Different iPad Models & Generations

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iPad Release Date Rumors

The latest iPad was announced in March of 2018 when Apple unveiled a 9.7–inch version with Apple Pencil compatibility at the Let's Take a Field Trip event. This iPad is currently available for purchase. At last year's WWDC, both the iPad Pro 10.9 and 12.5 inch were revealed, but this year there were no hardware announcements at WWDC. So will we hear more about new devices in the fall? It seems very likely!  

 ipad pro 2 rumors

 

New 9.7-inch iPad Specs & Features

The 9.7–inch iPad released in March, often referred to as the iPad 2018, includes support for the Apple Pencil, a powerful A10 fusion chip, a Retina display, advanced sensors, and all-day battery life. 

iPad Pro 2 Rumors

It's rumored that Apple isn't done with iPad debuts for 2018 and that the iPad Pro 2 may be revealed in the fall.  It's most likely that the newest versions of the iPad Pro will come in the same sizes as last year, 10.5 and 12.9 inches. Will the two possible new iPad Pros, in combination with the 9.7–inch 2018 iPad be all for the year? I'll update this post as I learn more, but for now, let's discuss possible features of the rumored new iPad Pros.

ipad x

Image Credit: iDrop News

iPad Pro Screen Size & Edge-to-Edge Display

Apple's latest iPhone, the iPhone X, features an edge-to-edge display with a small notch at the top of the screen. From the rumors we've been hearing regarding the new iPhones arriving in 2018, all three may have a similar display. If Apple incorporates this design feature into their new phones, will it extend to future iPads as well? iDrop News reports that a string of code in the beta version of iOS 11.3 refers to a "modern iPad," reminiscent of the language developers used to describe the "modern iPhone," the iPhone X, before its debut. This is a clue that Apple may indeed plan to expand the display and eliminate the bezel in any new iPad Pros. 

Switching to an edge-to-edge display would mean that the formerly 10.5–inch screen size would be closer to 11 inches and the 12.9–inch display could expand to around 13.2 inches. The size of the tablets themselves won't need to be enlarged; the screen increase will be accomplished simply by reducing the bezels. 

No Home Button or Touch ID

If the new iPad Pros have edge-to-edge displays like the iPhone X, this will, of course, mean the death of the Home button and Touch ID. There's no reason that future iPad Pros need Home buttons, after all. Gestures and swipes work wonderfully well on the iPhone X, and they should work just as well on a tablet. Similarly, Face ID can replace Touch ID with the addition of the next rumored 2018 iPad Pro feature, the TruDepth Camera.

ipad pro3

Image Credit: iDrop News

TruDepth Camera, Face ID, Animoji, and Memoji

If a new iPad Pro is released in 2018, it should feature a TruDepth camera, just as the iPhone X does. In addition to improvements in iPad photography, this will mean that Face ID and all it enables will be possible, including everyone's favorite chat feature, Animojis, and Apple's latest fun feature, Memojis! There's a hidden feature that just came to light in the just-revealed iOS 12, as well; multi-user Face ID for iPhone! This is limited to two people for now, but we're only in iOS 12 Beta 1; will this feature also be available on the new iPads? 

create your own animoji

Processor

All of the 2017 iPhones have A11 processors, but the 2017 iPad Pros have A10X processors. There's no reason why any iPad Pros to come can't have A11 processors, if not even a new A11X There are two high-performance CPU cores in the A11 chip, so the A11X could feature three cores for significantly higher processor speed and improved graphics.

iPad Pro 2 Resolution 

While the iPhone X has an OLED (organic light emitting diode) display, it's rumored that supply chain issues will prohibit this feature's expansion to iPads for now. It looks like we'll see LED for the potential 2018 iPad Pro offerings, and can only hope for better luck next year on OLED screens.

Wireless Charging

Apple is moving in the direction of wireless charging for many of its devices; are the upcoming 2018 iPads among them? The iPad is so much larger than the iPhone, the AirPods, and the Apple Watch that it won't be able to share Apple's new AirPower mat, also slated for 2018 release, with these devices. Does it even make sense to try for wireless iPad charging right now, when that might mean incorporating at least a partial glass back like the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X? My guess is that Apple won't introduce wireless charging for the iPad this year.

ARKit & Augmented Reality Capabilities

The 9.7–inch iPad that Apple revealed in March comes complete with the ability to run AR apps, due to its A10 chip, Retina display, and enhanced sensors and cameras. It seems entirely likely that any iPad Pro released in 2018 will offer even better AR experiences, especially since iOS 12 includes an update of Apple's Augmented Reality platform, ARKit 2. One of the most exciting new features of this upgraded platform comes courtesy of Apple's partnership with Pixar; the creation of a new, 3D file format called USDZ. This format allows the sharing of Augmented Reality files over Messages, Mail, Safari, and the Files and News apps, and optimizes that content for mobile devices.

ar kit

In addition to the new file format, ARKit 2 features the Measure app, which can draw lines across flat surfaces and take measurements from them, as well as 3D object recognition, which triggers AR experiences based on the orientation of Apple devices to specific objects. The most long-awaited ARKit feature that will finally be realized, though, is shared-experience AR, where multiple users can now work on projects and play games together. Any new iPad Pros will most likely be compatible with iOS 12 and feature these upgraded AR features.

ipad ar apps

Apple Pencil Compatibility

The 2018 iPad is the first outside the Pro line to offer Apple Pencil compatibility. Any new iPad Pro releases in 2018 should maintain Apple Pencil compatibility with ProMotion for a lightning fast refresh rate.   

ipad pro rumors

How Much Will the 2018 iPads Cost?

An A11X processor will bring the cost of any 2018 iPad Pro releases up, but staying with LED rather than an OLED display will help keep the price from ballooning. My guess is that Apple will price any new iPad Pros at a higher, but not significantly higher price than the 2017 versions; let's say starting at $699 for the 11–inch display (formerly 10.5 inches) and $849 for the 13.2–inch display (formerly 12.9 inches.) I'm leaning in the lower-cost direction because it just doesn't make sense to me that Apple would offer its 9.7–inch 2108 iPad for $329, and price possible 2018 iPad Pros at a tremendously higher price. Then again, Apple fans are more than willing to pay top dollar for new releases, so I could be way off base with this one. Time will tell.  

iPad Mini 5 Release Date: The End of the iPad Mini?

The latest version of the iPad mini, the iPad mini 4, hasn't seen significant updates since 2015. The 2018 crop of iPhones is rumored to include one with a 6.5–inch screen, only slightly smaller than the 7.9–inch iPad mini 4 display. So will Apple really put effort into an iPad mini 5? To what end? I think it's likely that Apple will retire the mini line and focus on developing phablets, iPhones with larger displays and greater capabilities, instead.

ipad mini 5

Image Credit: Mobile Syrup

iPad Pro 2 & iPad Mini 5 What's Your Opinion?

What do you think Apple will have to say about the new iPad Pros? And when? Are there any features you're hoping for in a possible 2018 iPad Pro? Let me know in the comments, and we'll add more information as soon as we receive it. 

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Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her purse or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.