has evolved Apple Inc. a new iPad Pro with wireless charging, along with its first redesign of the iPad mini in six years, as it seeks to continue the momentum of a category that has seen renewed sales during the pandemic.
The Cupertino company in California plans to launch a new iPad Pro in 2022 and iPad mini later this year.
The main change in iPad Pro design is the move to a glass back instead of the current aluminum back.
The updated iPad mini is planned to have narrower screen borders. While home button removal has also been tested.
The iPad has become an increasingly major part of Apple’s portfolio over the past year as people search for new ways to work, study and enjoy entertainment at home during the shutdowns.
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iPad sales jumped 43% in the last six months of 2020 compared to the previous year.
The gains continued in the first three months of 2021 when the tablets made $7.8 billion — an increase of 79 percent from the same quarter a year earlier.
For the new iPad Pro model, a transition to a partially glass back is being tested to enable wireless charging for the first time.
The change in materials brings iPads closer to iPhones, which Apple has moved from aluminum to glass in recent years.
Apple’s development work for the new iPad Pro is still early days, and the company’s plans could be changed or canceled before next year’s launch.
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iPad Pro with wireless charging:
Wireless charging replaces the power cable, making it easier for users to charge the battery of their devices.
This feature has become common in smartphones. But it is rare among tablets.
Apple added wireless charging to iPhones in 2017. Last year, it updated it with a magnet-based MagSafe system that ensures more consistent charging speeds.
The company is testing a similar MagSafe system for the iPad Pro. And wireless charging is likely to be slower than connecting the charger directly to the Thunderbolt port, which is still part of the following models.
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As part of the development of the next iPad Pro, Apple is also trying out a technology called reverse wireless charging.
This allows users to charge iPhones or other gadgets by placing them on the back of the tablet.
Apple was previously working on making this possible for the iPhone to charge AirPods and smartwatches.
In addition to the next generation iPad Pro and iPad mini, Apple is also developing a thinner version of the iPad for students.
This product is planned to be released as early as the end of this year, around the same time as the new iPad mini.
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The company is still exploring a future wireless charger that works similarly to the failed AirPower charger.
It also internally investigates alternative wireless charging methods that can operate over distances greater than inductive communication.
However, turning this technology into a product will likely take several years.
Apple last redesigned the iPad Pro in 2018. Previous updates have focused on performance and camera technologies.
The iPad mini was last updated in 2019 with Apple Pencil support and a faster chip.
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