The next iPad Pro could have a Thunderbolt port

Apple plans to launch a new iPad Pro model imminently—perhaps as soon as next month—according to sources cited by Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, who has accurately predicted several Apple product launches over the past few years.

The report claims that the new iPad Pros will come in the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes in which they are currently offered and that they will look similar to current models, too. However, they will have better cameras, faster processors, a new port, and—at least in the 12.9-inch model—a new screen technology.

The biggest surprise in this article is that the new port would be the same one that is found in Apple’s laptops: Thunderbolt. Bloomberg’s sources say that Apple has been testing versions of the iPad Pro that can connect to more external monitors and other kinds of peripherals because of the inclusion of a Thunderbolt port.

They do not, however, give any sense as to whether external monitor support will be improved from the basic mirroring implementation we see on the iPad right now.

The new iPad Pros will have a new, faster chip that is more comparable in performance to the M1 found in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro introduced last year. And at least the larger of the two iPad Pro models would have a new Mini LED screen, joining a trend in that direction among many electronics manufacturers that seek to make cheaper, more resilient LCD screens competitive with OLED.

The report does not elaborate upon the upcoming camera changes, saying only that they will be better than the cameras in current models.

Bloomberg concludes with a reminder that its sources have previously told it that Apple plans “major updates” to the iMac and MacBook Pro, as well as AirTags, the company’s long-delayed Tile competitor with augmented reality features.

Apple was widely rumored to host an event announcing new iPads and perhaps other products next week, but the window in which invitations would normally be sent out for such an event has now passed, suggesting that it won’t happen after all.

Apple announced an iPad Pro refresh around this time last year, though, so Bloomberg’s claim that a new update will come as soon as April seems plausible.

Listing image by Samuel Axon