Apple is preparing a new iPad Pro with wireless charging and the first iPad mini redesign in six years, seeking to continue momentum for the iPad family that saw rejuvenated sales due to the response to COVID-19.
The Cupertino, California-based company is planning to release the new iPad Pro in 2022 and the iPad mini later this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The main design change in testing for the iPad Pro is a switch to a glass back from the current aluminum enclosure. The updated iPad mini is planned to have narrower screen borders while the removal of its home button has also been tested.
MacDailyNews Take: Kill that Home button! The antiquated Home button must die!
For the new Pro model, the switch to a glass back is being tested, in part, to enable wireless charging for the first time. Making the change in material would bring iPads closer to iPhones, which Apple has transitioned from aluminum to glass backs in recent years.
Apple added wireless charging to iPhones in 2017 and last year updated it with a magnet-based MagSafe system that ensured more consistent charging speeds.
The company is testing a similar MagSafe system for the iPad Pro… As part of its development of the next iPad Pro, Apple is also trying out technology called reverse wireless charging. That would allow users to charge their iPhone or other gadgets by laying them on the back of the tablet. Apple had previously been working on making this possible for the iPhone to charge AirPods and Apple Watches.
MacDailyNews Note: In addition to the next-gen iPad Pro and iPad mini, Gurman and Wu report that Apple is also working on a thinner version of its entry-level iPad that’s planned to be released as early as the end of this year, likely alongside the new iPad mini.