Apple is reportedly working on a new iPad Pro model with wireless charging support alongside an iPad Mini with a refreshed design. The new Pro model is said to debut next year, while the next iPad Mini may launch later this year. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Cupertino-based tech giant is also testing a glass back on the iPad Pro 2022 edition instead of the aluminium finish in the existing lineup. Naturally, not only this will enable wireless and reverse charging tech, but be more expensive to repair in case of damage. Another report recently claimed that the future iPad Pro models would feature OLED display after incorporating mini-LEDs to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021. Apple is yet to confirm these developments.
Starting with the iPad Pro model, the Bloomberg report inciting industry sources notes that the change in material would bring iPads closer to iPhones, which Apple has transitioned from aluminium to glass backs in recent years. The company is reportedly testing a MagSafe-like wireless charging system for the iPad Pro 2022 that would be much slower than wired charging. The report cautions that Apple’s development work on the new iPad Pro is “still early," meaning these features could be dropped before the final release. The iPad Mini, which is said to be coming out later this year, will reportedly get a new look. The updated iPad mini is planned to have narrower screen borders while the removal of its home button has also been tested. Apple last refreshed the iPad mini lineup in 2019 with an A12 Bionic chipset and first-gen Apple Pencil support. Unlike other models, the iPad Mini has thick bezels on the display.
In addition to the next-generation iPad Pro and iPad Mini, Apple is said to be working on a thinner version of its entry-level iPad geared toward students. The new regular iPad may release alongside iPad Mini later this year, the report adds. It is also highlighted that the company is still exploring a future wireless charger that works similarly to its failed AirPower, a charging mat designed to power up an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously. Apple is further internally investigating alternative wireless charging methods that can work over greater distances than an inductive connection - something similar to the Xiaomi Mi Air Charge technology. However, the launch of this wireless tech by Apple is still years away.