Apple is planning some exciting new additions for its iPad line. According to Bloomberg, Apple plans to bring wireless charging to the iPad Pro, along with the first iPad mini redesign in six years.
The wireless charging iPad will supposedly debut in 2022. The redesigned iPad mini — complete with narrower bezels and possible removed Home button — will meanwhile arrive later this year.
Bloomberg notes that:
“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.”
Coming soon to an iPad near you
Interestingly, the report suggests that Apple is testing a MagSafe system for the iPad Pro. This would be similar to that found on the newest iPhones. If true, that marks quite the turnaround for Apple’s MagSafe technology: from being ditched on the MacBook a few years ago to making a comeback on Apple’s laptops, along with its iPhones and, now, iPad. The Bloomberg report notes that wireless charging “will likely be slower than directly plugging in a charger to the iPad’s Thunderbolt port, which will remain as part of the next models.”
It also suggests that Apple is exploring reverse wireless charging technology for the 2022 iPad Pro. This would let users charge charge their iPhones or Apple Watches by lying the devices on the iPad.
In addition, the report claims that Apple is developing a thinner version of its entry level iPads. It would be targeted at students, and is also likely to debut by the end of 2021.
All of these changes are likely being initiated in an effort to keep iPad sales strong as the world exits its pandemic year. iPad sales boomed during lockdown, increasing 42% in the second half of 2020 versus one year earlier. In the first three months of 2021, iPad-related revenue was up 79% from the same quarter in 2020.