No sooner does the iPad Air get the super-fast M1 processor than talk begins of its iPad Pro sibling getting an even faster chip. The latest report claims Apple will release an iPad Pro with an M2 in the fall of this year.
The usually reliable Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman makes the prediction in his Power On newsletter. The analyst claims the next iPad Pro will appear between September and November 2022, roughly a year and a half after the last one, and represent its most significant update since the all-screen redesign in 2018.
Aside from the M2, Gurman has pointed to MagSafe wireless charging coming to the Pro along with a new glass back, although one or both of these changes may have been abandoned since he originally made the prediction. Sources cited by 9to5Mac earlier this year claim Apple is likely to switch back to aluminum with glass used for the Apple logo only, and this in turn could create practical difficulties in implementing MagSafe.
But the M2 is the headline-grabbing element of the report, and this is likely to see the Pro regain a significant speed advantage over the iPad Air. The chip remains shrouded in mystery, but based on everything we currently know, and extrapolating from the differences between the similarly related A14 and A15 chips, we think a gain of roughly 20% in multi-core processing benchmarks is plausible, and up to 30% in the most demanding graphics tests.
Bear in mind, however, that while the M2 will leave the M1 in the dust, it won’t be as fast as Apple’s higher end M1 chips, the Pro, Max, and Ultra. You can get all the information you need in our analysis of the M2’s expected performance.
Time was when the M-series processors were for the Mac only. It gives an idea of how powerful the iPad Pro line has become, and how seriously Apple takes its premium tablets as laptop/desktop replacements, that they are being discussed in connection with an M chip that hasn’t yet been released, even if that chip is likely to be an upper-mid-range rather than category-leading member of the M family.
Is this really happening?
Should we believe this prediction? The timing fits Apple’s past behaviour and the inclusion of an M2 makes sense as Apple seeks to differentiate the (currently slightly outshone) Pro line from the iPad Air, although we wouldn’t expect to see an M2 iPad before an M2 Mac. Gurman, meanwhile, is riding the crest of a wave having made a number of prescient calls ahead of the “Peek Performance” event earlier this month. But he isn’t infallible, with a strong rather than flawless accuracy rating of 86.4 percent on AppleTrack right now.
Of course, Apple hasn’t confirmed any of this and will not comment publicly until the time comes for the product announcement. And even if it is working on an M2 iPad Pro, the company’s plans could change between now and the fall.
Keep up with the latest rumors with our guide to the new iPad Pro for 2022. And if you don’t want to wait until the fall, pick up a bargain on the current range with our roundup of the best iPad deals.