If you’ve been dreaming of an iPad Pro getting the same glass back/metal frame design treatment as iPhones, there’s bad news for you. A 9to5Mac report that cites insider sources claims that Apple may have pulled the plug on the glass back panel makeover for its upcoming iPad Pro. This means the iPad Pro will continue to be a polished piece of metal with super-fast silicon inside.
Last year, Bloomberg reported that Apple was considering a glass back panel for the iPad Pro. My Drivers also shared an alleged render of the 2022 iPad Pro refresh with a glass back earlier this year. The cosmetic overhaul was to take place for both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad models. Why this sudden change of plans at one of Apple’s famous design studios? According to the report, the fragility of the glass is what prompted Apple to consider applying it to the rear panel of the iPad Pro.
After all, iPhones with a broken back panel aren’t very nice to look at or use. And even though the quality of the materials has improved since the iPhone 8 days, it’s still glass. I personally shed a few bitter tears after cracking the back panel of my iPhone 12 Mini on its very first bumpy encounter with the concrete floor. And with the added weight that comes with a much larger tablet form factor, an iPad Pro with a glass back looks like risky business. I wouldn’t even dare to imagine the premium of replacing the rear panel here.
However, it’s not just the aesthetic sacrifice that hurts. No glass panel means a smooth sheet of metal adorning the back of the iPad Pro for another year. And that also means no MagSafe or wireless charging. Moreover, there is also a chance that we will see a notch on the expensive Apple tablet.
But wait, there may still be hope. According to the report, Apple is toying with prototype iPad Pros with a much larger logo, just like the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. That logo is glass, instead of painted metal, and Apple plans to install the MagSafe wireless charging hardware behind the glass logo. There are rumors that the company has installed stronger magnets than those in iPhones and has also improved the wireless power delivery.
So there’s still hope that an iPad Pro with MagSafe capability could arrive next year, although it might not look as fancy as one with an all-glass back panel. But these are prototypes we’re talking about here, which means Apple can always put them on ice if the new design turns out to be a manufacturing nightmare and increases production costs.
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