2020 iPad Pro may arrive in March with 3D sensing camera by LG

ipad pro march 2020
The 2018 iPad Pro

Rumors about a potential iPad Pro refresh in late October have been flying around recently but a new report (via MacRumors) by Korean website The Elec suggests Apple is planning a major iPad Pro update in March 2020.

The 2020 iPad Pro may introduce a Time-of-Flight sensor

The report itself doesn’t reveal anything about what Apple’s internal iPad Pro upgrades will entail next Spring but it does suggest a pretty big camera upgrade could be on the horizon. Specifically, it seems the triple-camera setup that was recently rumored may debut on the March 2020 models.

Physically, the new camera layout is expected to resemble that of the iPhone 11 Pro quite closely although there will be some differences when it comes to functionality. The Elec believes Apple has signed an agreement with LG to supply Time-of-Flight sensors for the next-generation tablets. These modules help capture significant amounts of depth data and are ultimately capable of improving AR experiences drastically.

Accompanying the 3D sensor will be the main camera and probably an ultra-wide-angle camera, too. The possibility that Apple may choose to include a telephoto shooter instead certainly exists but this is unlikely to benefit AR much, hence why an ultra-wide-angle camera seems more likely.

On a related note, it’s worth pointing out that Apple’s cheaper iPad models are eventually expected to inherit Time-of-Flight sensors as well. If the company chooses to update the iPad Air after twelve months, there’s a chance it could happen in March 2020 alongside the iPad Pro refresh. Otherwise, it could be delayed until later on in the year.

Will there be iPad Pro updates in October and March?

Apple typically updates its iPad Pro models every 18 months or so. An update this October, as rumored, would break this tradition but another one just five months later seems extremely unusual and arguably unnecessary. Ultimately, though, it seems there are three possibilities moving forward:

Scenario 1: Apple skips the rumored October refresh in favor of one noticeably bigger upgrade in March 2020 that’d include both 3D sensors and internal improvements.

Scenario 2: Apple ditches plans for a March 2020 update and instead goes all-in next month with 2019 iPad Pro models that include a triple-camera setup on the rear.

Scenario 3: Apple introduces 2019 iPad Pro models with the Apple A13X Bionic and some few other internal changes. Then, in March 2020, it launches newer models that feature extra camera sensors on the back.

The 2020 iPhone Pro models will also feature 3D sensors

This year’s iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, as mentioned previously, feature three rear cameras. But with the 2020 iPhone Pro lineup, Apple is expected to add a Time-of-Flight sensor to the mix.

Little is known about Apple’s other camera plans for next year’s iPhones but today’s report by The Elec corroborates the 3D sensor reports. It suggests that, just like the next-gen iPad Pros, Apple’s 2020 iPhones will make use of sensors developed by LG. 

Other upgrades for the 2020 iPhone series may include 120Hz ProMotion displays on the Pro models and OLED displays much like the ones found on this year’s iPhone 11 Pro devices on the standard iPhone 12.

Further changes may include USB-C on the Pro-branded models, 5G support across the entire range, reverse wireless charging which was initially planned for this year’s devices, and an all-new design on the premium models which may reduce the size of the notch and result in 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch displays rather than the existing 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch sizes.

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