Apple tipped to endow new iPad Pro models with a pair of four-pin Smart Connectors

Apple tipped to endow new iPad Pro models with a pair of four-pin Smart Connectors
Citing its sources in China, Japan's Macotakara (via AppleInsider) says that the 2022 iPad Pro will feature a pair of "four-pin connectors." Currently, the iPad Pro is equipped with a row of three exposed pins on the lower rear of the device which is called the Smart Connector and is used to attach accessories such as the Magic Keyboard.

The new iPad Pro (2022) is rumored to be equipped with two sets of four-pin Smart Connectors

You're probably thinking, so what's the big deal? The report suggests that the new connectors can be used to power up accessories that plug into the Thunderbolt/USB-C port. Also, it isn't known whether the current three-pin accessories will work with a four-pin Smart Connector. And the pair of four-pin connectors will be found in new locations on the top and bottom side edges of the iPad Pro (2022).

Macotakara also says that we should expect the chasis of the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch variants of Apple's tap-of-the-line slate to pretty much look the same as the previous models except with the two four-pin Smart Connectors. 

The mini-LED display will probably once again be found only on the 12.9-inch model. Apple calls this display the Liquid Retina XDR display and it delivers outstanding contrast and true-to-life colors. Unless there have been some improvements made to the screen, it will offer 1,000 nits of brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1 million to one contrast ratio.

There seems to be some connection with how Apple will be marketing the new iPad Pro models and the upcoming iPhone 14 line. Apple is trying to steer iPhone buyers to the pricey Pro models this year with more differentiation than ever. That is why the new A16 chipset will be found only on the iPhone 14 Pro models (it's last year's A15 Bionic for the non-Pro phones) and also why the Pro models get the premium OLED panels, the 120Hz refresh rate, the better cameras, and the new "i cutouts" instead of the tired old notch.

While top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that the mini-LED display is still too expensive to be used on the 11-inch iPad Pro, trying to get you to buy the more expensive (12.9-inch model) for a feature that you might really want is an Apple trademark. The new 11-inch iPad Pro will probably continue to be equipped with the Liquid Retina (LCD) display.

Apple has delayed the release of iOSPad 16 until October

With iPadOS 16 delayed until October, Apple can decide to unveil the new iPad Pro models next month but release them in October. Or, it could announce the new tablets at a stand-alone event in October. A third possibility: you wake up one October morn and Apple has dropped a press release announcing the new iPad Pro models. We could see Apple increase the battery capacity on the new tablets, especially since some users complained that the Magic Keyboard was making their battery life disappear like magic.

There has also been speculation about MagSafe support for the iPad Pro (2022) which would bring wireless charging to the device for the first time. Both models should be powered by the M2 chipset which has 20 billion transistors inside. That is a 25% increase over the number found in the M1 which should make the 2022 iPad Pro slates more powerful and energy-efficient than last year's models.

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Speaking of the M2, the chip is being built by TSMC using its 4nm process node which could make the iPad Pro (2022) the first device offered by Apple with a 4nm chip inside. Generally, the smaller the process node number, the larger a chip's transistor count. And that is important because the larger the transistor count, the more powerful and energy-efficient a chip is.

Back in June, we told you that the reliable Ross Young passed along word from his supply chain sources that Apple will introduce a 14.1-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display. Other rumored specs include the use of 16GB of memory on the base model, 512GB to 4TB of storage, and the M2 chipset under the hood. We will be on the lookout for more rumors and leaks pertaining to this rumored new addition to the iPad Pro line.

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