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Sina science and technology news Beijing time on October 17 morning news, according to reports, Apple will roll out the next generation iPad Pro in the next few days, which includes code name J617 and J620 11 inches and 12.9 inches version. The new iPad Pro will have the same M2 processor chip as the new MacBook Air.
This will be Apple's first update to the iPad Pro lineup in a year and a half, and the biggest change is the M2 chip. The processor will deliver a performance boost of nearly 20%. What's more, the new iPad doesn't look much different from last year's model, and Apple will have a flat-edged design for the fourth year in a row. By comparison, the original iPad Pro was designed in just three years. The current design is sleeker and in line with other iPad and iPhone models, so it still makes sense to stick with it.
Apple is also working on an entry-level tablet with a USB-C port and a similar design to the iPad Pro. It would also be the most significant update to the low-end iPad line in the past few years, and would mark a shift from Apple's previous approach, when annual upgrades to entry-level products were limited to processor chips.
On the software side, Apple plans to release iPadOS 16.1, which will be the first iPad version of iOS 16, around Oct. 24. If the plan goes ahead, the development will be completed the week before. Apple's quarterly earnings call is Oct. 27, and the company typically unveils new products in the days and weeks leading up to its earnings report.
The new iPad software update and the first version of macOS Ventura will add support for the latest iPad Pro, as well as future 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, the sources said. For the first time, the new MacBook Pro will have the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, which are more powerful than the M2. Beyond that, the new MacBook Pro won't have many upgrades.
For now, it doesn't look like the new MacBook Pro will be released alongside the new iPad Pro. Apple has traditionally announced new Macs in November, such as the first 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2019 and the first MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini with Apple's own chips in 2020.
As for new products, Apple is working on a Mac Mini with the M2 chip, which will be the first upgrade to the Mac Mini line in two years. An Apple TV box with an A14 chip and 4 gigabytes of memory is also in the works. The current generation of Apple TV comes with an A12 chip and 3GB of RAM.
Apple has traditionally held events to unveil new ipads and Macs, but sources say this year's event will be relatively low-key. Apple will only launch these products through its official website and will no longer hold offline events.
Industry insiders believe that Apple did not hold an event this time because these new product upgrades are relatively ordinary, just improved specs and the continuation of the past design. In addition, Apple may need to save marketing effort for next year's Reality Pro headsets.
A key part of the next iPad Pro will be Stage Manager, Apple's new, but controversial, multitasking interface. The current problems with Stage Manager may still be unfixable, but it's unlikely that Apple will remove it from iPadOS 16.1 and new products. To placate critics, Apple experimented with integrating Stage Manager into ipads with non-M1 chips, while delaying the still-problematic integration of external displays until late 2022.
Apple also now plans to turn the tablet into a smart gateway and speaker, making it a bigger player in the smart home environment. This is similar to what Google did with its upcoming Pixel tablet. When Google first showed off the new Pixel tablet in May, it appeared to be a regular Android tablet. But earlier this month, Google revealed that it will also unveil a new dock accessory that will turn the tablet into a smart display and smart home control device.
Current sources suggest that Apple is working on a similar feature for the iPad in 2023. Last year it was reported that Apple was exploring an all-in-one device that would combine an iPad and a speaker hub, allowing users to use it in their kitchen cabinets, living room or nightstand. Apple is also working on a separate iPad dock that would do much the same thing.
Whatever form it ultimately takes, the move will be part of Apple's major push into the smart home market, expanding beyond TV set-top boxes and smart speakers. In those areas, Apple is still playing catch-up with Amazon's Echo Show and Google's equivalents.
Apple continues to push ahead with HomePod upgrades. The product will be larger than the mini HomePod, combine Apple TV and smart speaker devices, and offer a camera for FaceTime and other functions. Until the new product is ready for release, though, the 12-year-old iPad may be Apple's best bet to make a breakthrough in the smart home.
The launch caps a momentous year for Apple. In 2022, Apple introduced the Apple Watch Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro, Mac Studio, and the new iPhone SE. Next year, however, is likely to see more blockbuster product announcements, including mixed reality headsets, a larger MacBook Air, new iphones, and more smart-home devices.