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By now it’s pretty much a given that at least some of this year’s iPhone models will feature a triple-lens camera system, but what’s more surprising is that Apple might soon be bringing the same new flagship camera design to its iPad Pro lineup as well.
According to a new report by Mac Otakara, supply chain sources have revealed that the 2019 iPad Pro could also be receiving the same triple-lens camera as the new iPhone models, while the rumoured 10.2-inch standard iPad would gain a dual-lens camera, similar to what’s already found in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and expected to arrive on the iPhone XR’s 2019 successor.
If true, this would represent a significant boost to photography on the iPad, an area that Apple hasn’t taken as seriously compared to its considerably more pocketable iPhones.
For example, while last year’s iPad Pro got a major design upgrade and brought over features like Face ID from the iPhone X series, it still retained a comparatively less impressive single 12 megapixel camera, also omitting features like Portrait Mode, which did arrive on the single-lens iPhone XR camera. Further, the 2018 iPad Pro camera actually saw very few improvements over the camera of its predecessor, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and actually lost the optical image stabilization.
So needless to say, Apple hasn’t ever taken the camera particularly seriously even in its iPad Pro lineup, and its lower-end iPad models suffer even more — the third-generation iPad Air, which is Apple’s most recent iPad model, only features an 8 megapixel camera, despite being virtually identical to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in just about every other way.
Of course, the iPad is arguably not the most ideal device for photography compared to the iPhone, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t use it for that purpose, and as cumbersome as it might be to use for casual snapshots, there are definitely advantages to being able to set up and frame photos with the larger iPad display to work with.
A Big Change
The situation with the current iPad Air makes us particularly skeptical that Apple would suddenly debut a dual-lens camera system on its new 10.2-inch iPad, which is expected by all indications to be a replacement for the 2018 sixth-generation entry-level iPad, rather than the midrange iPad Air.
Still, even that’s not impossible, and it makes sense if Apple is going to take photography on the iPad more seriously than it has in the past. It certainly seems more likely that this is something Apple could do for the higher-end iPad Pro models. Apple may also be looking for ways to clearly differentiate this year’s iPad Pro models from last year’s, which will otherwise have little more to offer than spec bumps. Apple is said to be working on considerably more revolutionary iPad models going forward, but these are still likely at least a year or two away, so the company may need to do something more special to cover the gap this year between what’s here and what’s coming.