Next iPad Pro said to be smaller, drop headphone jack, move Smart Connector

While most of the recent Apple rumors and speculation have focused on this year’s iPhone lineup and the addition of a fullscreen LCD model, there’s reason to believe we’ll also be seeing new iPad Pro models for 2018. Along with the expectation that the upcoming iPads will include the iPhone X’s FaceID technology, there’s evidence suggesting the tablets will be dropping the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as getting smaller all around.

Citing sources in Apple’s supply chain, Japanese site Mac Otakara reports that both the upcoming iPad Pro models will see their dimensions shrink. The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is said to measure 247.5mm tall, 178.7mm wide, and 6mm thick (a reduction from the current size of 250.6mm x 174.1mm x 6.1mm). Meanwhile the 12.9-inch model will be trimmed even more to 280mm tall, 215mm wide, and 6.4mm thick (down from 305.7mm x 220.6mm x 6.9mm).

These adjustments won’t include any changes to the display sizes, meaning they would allow the same screen dimensions to fit on a smaller sized device, especially in the case of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The report also mentions that Apple will be removing the headphone jack from the new iPad Pro models, the same move it pulled in 2016 with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Mac Otakara notes that these changes to the iPad Pros will come alongside the addition of a TrueDepth camera system for Face ID, meaning the smaller dimension sizes could be the result of smaller bezels and the elimination of the tablet’s Home button. What’s new, however, is the mention that FaceID won’t work while the iPad is in landscape orientation.

As the iPad is most often used in landscape when paired with keyboards, this is poised to create another problem. To address the issue, Apple is said to be moving the Smart Connector from the side of the device to the bottom, near the Lightning connector. This implies that accessories like Apple’s own Smart Keyboard will now connect with and be used while the iPad Pro is in vertical orientation.

This would be a very interesting move for Apple, as it would require a significant shift away from using the iPad Pro in landscape. Apple’s annual fall event isn’t expected until sometime in September, so there’s still time for this information to be backed up by additional details.