Apple last updated the iPad Pro line in May 2021, and development of the next model is well underway. But when will the new iPad Pro launch, and what design changes, new features and tech specs can we expect?
In this article we round up all the news and leaks regarding the new iPad Pro for 2022.
When will the next iPad Pro be released?
We expect new iPad Pro models to be launched in autumn 2022, likely at an event in September (alongside the
iPhone 14) or October.
Optimists may hope to see new Pros at the highly anticipated
spring event in March or April, but we’d be surprised. Apple has never released two generations of iPad Pro within a year of one another, and tends to leave around 14-17 months between launches in this line.
- iPad Pro (5th generation): May 2021
- iPad Pro (4th generation): March 2020
- iPad Pro (3rd generation): November 2018
- iPad Pro (2nd generation): June 2017
- iPad Pro (1st generation): November 2015 and March 2016
We’ve also noticed a relative lack of leaks from the supply chain so far, which suggests that Apple is not very far along in the development process.
How much will the new iPad Pro (2022) cost?
We remain in the realms of speculation when it comes to pricing, as Apple has made no announcements in this regard. So we need to use the last few generations as our North Star.
Here’s how the baseline models lined up at launch:
- iPad Pro 12.9in (2021): £999/$1,099
- iPad Pro 11in (2021): £749/$799
- iPad Pro 12.9in (2020): £769/$799
- iPad Pro 11in (2020): £969/$999
With that in mind, we think Apple will try to stick to the sub-£999 price tag in the UK and $1,099 in the US, as it’s one of those ‘magic’ figures that suggests quality but (comparative) affordability.
New features in the 2022 iPad Pro
What surprises has Apple got up its sleeve for the 2022 update? Let’s look at the evidence.
Upgraded display for 11in iPad Pro
One of the strongest rumours we’ve seen so far is that the 11in iPad Pro will be granted parity with its larger sibling by the introduction of a mini-LED display, just like the 12.9in iPad Pro received in 2021.
This technology is a step up from the normal LED LCD screens, as it allows more control over the contrast, making darker parts of the image even more dark, while also boosting the richness of colour and the maximum brightness of the display.
If you haven’t encountered this type of technology before, which Apple calls Liquid Retina XDR, you can read about it in our full review of the
12.9in iPad Pro (2021) and in our guide to
what is Mini-LED?
This feature won’t just be reserved for the 11in iPad Pro (2022) though, as we’ve already seen plenty of rumours that Apple will be introducing it on the next
MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
Giant 15in screen
Talking of displays, let’s get this exciting but unlikely rumour out of the way. Is Apple about to increase the maximum screen size of its iPad range from 12.9in to 15in?
Sources in the supply chain do indeed indicate that an Apple supplier (BOE) is working on
gigantic 15in OLED panels that could plausibly end up in an iPad at some point in the future. What’s more, the respected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman has claimed that Apple itself has been
testing 14in-16in iPads, and that devices in such a form factor will “continue to blur the lines between tablet and laptop”.
The problem is primarily one of timing. BOE is still at an early stage of development, and the project is unlikely to yield actual commercial products for another year or two – and may never do so at all, sources say, “due to the difficulty of the technology”.
As for Apple’s own testing, that may be more promising, but bear in mind that the company routinely tests a wide variety of screen sizes for all of its products, just to see if a tweak would help. That doesn’t mean it’s actually going to happen.
We love the idea of a giant iPad Pro just as much as Mark Gurman does. But considering how expensive the 12.9in model already is, and how much of a niche product it is, and how much more commercially successful the company’s cheaper and small alternatives are, it seems like a long shot for a 15in iPad Pro to appear in the near future.
Glass backs and wireless charging
Various news outlets, including
Bloomberg, are reporting that the new iPad Pros will feature glass backs rather than the current aluminium ones. This is to allow the introduction of wireless charging for the first time on the iPad range.
While it’s long been rumoured that Apple would like to do away with all ports on its devices, we can’t see this being the time when it happens, as Pro users like to have the option to plug accessories into their devices to expand their capabilities. So wireless charging will be a welcome additional alongside the USB-C port rather than replacing it.
The introduction of wireless charging could also usher in another feature that’s been popular on Android devices for a while – reverse charging. This rumour is much more tentative, but we could see Apple allowing the back of the new iPad Pros to act as a wireless charging pad for devices like the
iPhone 13 or
Apple Watch Series 7.
M1 Pro or M1 Max processor
Apple always likes to bestow the best of its processor line-up into its pro tablets, which is one of the reasons they are so ridiculously powerful. It would be in keeping with this ethos to see the state-of-the-art M1 Pro and Max chips (first announced for the
late-2021 MacBook Pros) make an appearance at the heart of the 2022 iPad Pros.
To find out more about these superbly fast chips, read
everything we know about the M1 Pro & M1 Max.
As you can see, there is plenty to be excited about for the next iteration of Apple’s iPad Pros. We’ll be updating this article as more news comes to light, so be sure to check back regularly to see what we find.
In the meantime, if you don’t want to wait until late 2022 to get your hands on the flagship tablet, take a look at our roundups of the
best iPad deals and
where to buy the M1 iPad Pro models.