Apple is about to launch a major new update to its iPad line, according to leaks and reports. On Monday, a new concept render showed how the company may plan to update its product with a bold new design that eliminates the home button and introduces Face ID, in a similar move to last year’s iPhone X.
The renders, produced by leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer and shared on MySmartPrice, detail a 12.9-inch iPad Pro that uses face recognition scanning to unlock the device, eliminating the need for the fingerprint scanner. The leaks suggest dimensions of 280.6mm by 215mm by 5.85mm, measuring at 7.77mm including the new camera bump. While the redesign would retain the four speaker holes and power and volume buttons, the smart connector for keyboards has a new home on the shorter edge. Apple may also drop the 3.5mm headphone jack, similar to the iPhone 7 that required users to employ a Lightning dongle to return the functionality.
The screen is set to reach the father edges of the display, reducing the bezel but providing more screen in a more manageable form factor. This shouldn’t be an issue for holding, as Apple has used a thumb rejection software since the iPad Mini in 2012 to decide whether someone is holding the screen or pressing on purpose. The screen won’t be OLED, but use LCD IPS panels with variable refresh rate. The 120Hz “ProMotion” screen that debuted with the 10.5-inch iPad last June, offering double the refresh rate of a regular iPad screen, was hailed as a revelation by the Apple community.
As for the internals, the new device is expected to use an A12X system-on-a-chip. This would be a step up from last year’s A11 Bionic processor, but also suggests a boost over the standard A12 chip expected to ship in the iPhone XS. Internal random access memory is also expected to remain at 4GB. Alongside the 12.9-inch version, Apple is expected to produce a 10.5-inch model.
Of course, none of the above is confirmed by Apple, but the company has already sent out press invites for an event at 10 a.m. Pacific time on September 12, held at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino.
While the event is expected to focus on iPhones, the company may provide a big update for the last major product category that Steve Jobs introduced at Apple.