Apple’s first 5G iPad Pro could launch this fall with A14 chip

By

2018 iPad Pro sizes: 2018 iPad Pro sizes
Yes please!
Photo: Apple

Apple could introduce its first iPad Pro with 5G connectivity this fall. A new report claims the device will be compatible with super-speedy mmWave networks. And Apple’s next-generation A14 processor could power the tablet.

Apple is said to be on track to deliver a bunch of new iPhone handsets this fall, despite the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. And it looks like smartphones aren’t the only thing Cupertino could have up its sleeve for the second half of 2020.

Supply chain sources claim a big iPad Pro refresh — the first to bring 5G connectivity to Apple’s tablet lineup — is on the way.

5G iPad Pro could land in 2020

“Based on its 5G product roadmaps, Apple is expected to launch new iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads, incorporating both sub-6GHz and mmWave specs probably in September,” reads a Digitimes report.

Support for both sub-6GHz and mmWave bands will allow these devices to connect to almost all 5G networks. This should negate the need to choose a certain carrier just to enjoy faster data on your new iPhone or iPad.

Most observers expect Qualcomm to supply its Snapdragon X55 5G modems for iPhone. However,  it remains unclear whether Cupertino will use those same chips to bring 5G to iPad. Apple’s own 5G chips may not be ready until 2021 at the earliest.

The next iPad Pro likely will use an A14 (presumably A14X) processor — just like the next-generation iPhone lineup. This will “significantly drive up demand” for the 5-nanometer chips, the report adds.

Another Digitimes report, also published today, claims the next-generation iPad Pro will also pack a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor. This will allow for improved augmented reality experiences and better depth of field photography.

Too many iPads?

Previous reports have suggested Apple will refresh its iPad Pro lineup in March. Its last update came in October 2018, so existing models are already well over a year old. A spring update certainly seems to make sense.

If the latest whispers are to be believed, then, Apple could be planning two iPad Pro updates for 2020. That seems unlikely, unless the fall update is specifically to add high-end 5G options (without making other big hardware changes) to the lineup.