Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber said Monday that he has confirmed “with a little birdie” that there is indeed no U1 chip in the new iPad Pro.
The U1 Ultra Wideband chip debuted with the iPhone 11. It allows the iPhone to detect its exact position relative to other devices in the same room. That gives it a sense of spatial awareness for things like targeted AirDrop by pointing one iPhone at another to share a file.
Given that Apple had not mentioned a U1 chip for the new iPad Pro, there was really no reason to think that it would include one. The chip is not mentioned in Apple’s tech specs for the device or any of the marketing materials advertising it.
As MacRumors points out, the directional AirDrop feature also isn’t found on the new iPad Pro running iPadOS 13.4. Neither is there an Ultra Wideband toggle as Apple added in iOS 13.3.1. As if that wasn’t enough evidence, no U1 chip was found on iFixit‘s recent teardown of the new iPad Pro.
iPad takes a while to get new features
iPad taking a while to get certain iPhone features is nothing new. It took until the second-gen iPad for the iPad to get a camera, which the iPhone had from the very beginning. Touch ID, the Weather app, the edge-to-edge display, and LED flash were all delayed in coming to iPad as well. And 3D Touch never made it onto the iPad at all, possibly due to the physical challenges of doing so.
It’s likely that the U1 chip will eventually make its way to iPad. But, for now, it seems that users of Apple’s tablet are going to have to wait.