Apple’s 2018 iPad Pro lineup with Face ID could be unveiled in June, according to a new analyst report.
Jun Zhang, of Rosenblatt Securities, said he expects Apple to announce the updated iPad Pro devices at its Worldwide Developers Conference, which will likely take place in June. Apple unveiled the current iPad Pro lineup at WWDC last June.
The analyst expects the new devices to sport Apple’s new 3D-sensing TrueDepth Camera, as well as the Face ID authentication platform that relies on it. In addition, they’ll adopt other iPhone X-esque design features, such as overall slimmer bezels and the lack of a Home button, Zhang added in a note distributed to investors and spotted by Barron’s.
While it’s likely that Zhang is talking about new generations of both the 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro models, it’s worth noting that he didn’t specify exactly which devices he was talking about in his research note.
Zhang forecasts that Apple will produce at least 16 to 18 million iPad units, with 6 to 8 million of those adopting 3D sensing capabilities in the June quarter.
“Our research suggests the new iPad should be ready for mass production with a release date likely in late-Q2,” Zhang wrote.
Previous 2018 iPad Pro Rumors
Renowned KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo first made the prediction that Apple’s new iPad Pro models would adopt Face ID last year. In addition to Apple’s tablets, Kuo expects this year’s entire iPhone lineup to use the facial recognition technology.
That rumor was quickly backed up by a Bloomberg report in November 2017, which claimed that Apple was developing an iPad Pro with Face ID, thinner bezels, and no Home button.
Additionally, a piece of code hidden within iOS 11.3 made reference to a “modern iPad.” The iPhone X, which introduced a revolutionary new design, was also dubbed the “modern iPhone” in firmware code prior to its release.
According to a Chinese supply chain report, the new iPad Pro models are expected to run on an octa-core version of Apple’s A11 Bionic chipset with a neural engine, the same SoC that the iPhone X uses. Bloomberg also added that the new tablets would likely sport an Apple-developed graphics processing unit.
There is one iPhone X feature that the new iPads aren’t likely to adopt, however. Due to cost- and supply-related issues, the new iPad Pro models are likely to retain the LCD-based screens of their predecessors. In other words, they won’t make the switch to OLED displays.
There’s currently no word on how much the new iPad Pro models will cost, but with the lack of OLED displays, it’s not likely that they’ll see as large of a price bump as the iPhone X.
The current iPad Pro generation was first unveiled on June 5, 2017, at WWDC. The device began shipping to customers the following week.