Dubious 2018 iPad Pro CAD image seemingly shows relocated Smart Connector

Posted:
in iPad
A questionable image leak supposedly showing what a refreshed iPad Pro could potentially look like depicts an odd addition to the rear of the tablet, but at the same time also uses a design aesthetic that Apple is unlikely to resurrect in its next iPad Pro generation.




The CAD illustration shared by the OnLeaks Twitter account identifies the depicted device as a 2018 iPad Pro. Rather than showing the entire device, the shared image shows the bottom edge of the tablet, complete with Lightning port and speaker vents and part of the traditional Apple logo.

There are two notable changes to the design compared to the currently-offered iPad and iPad Pro models. The main item is a circular section of the back cover close to the Lightning port that is recessed into the casing, something that has not been seen before in Apple's tablet range.

A recent report claimed the Smart Connector would be moved from its current location on the edge of the iPad Pro to a space on the "lower rear side" close to the Lightning connector. The new image seemingly suggests what this could look like, though with an oddly different shape for the connector compared to the three circular contacts in the current implementation.

Just got my hands on a purported 2018 iPad Pro CAD showing a unknown thing located on the back of the tablet... NB: I can't confirm the accuracy of that CAD I share for discussion purposes only because of that weird and yet unexplained detail... pic.twitter.com/9R7jeLDfLV

-- Steve H. (@OnLeaks)


Another difference to current designs is the way the casing is constructed, as the image suggests chamfered edges and possibly multiple sections sandwiched together, rather than the existing one-piece backing with curved edges. It seems unlikely that Apple would revert to a more iPhone 5-style design for the casing, especially since it would likely increase the number of parts used in construction.

As it is a shot from a CAD image shared on Twitter, it is almost impossible to tell if it is a genuine Apple design document or not. OnLeaks itself admits it can't confirm the file's accuracy, but states the image is share "for discussion purposes only" because of the odd details.

Expected to ship sometime this fall, the 2018 iPad Pro models are speculated to have a smaller footprint but retain the screen size, bringing it closer to an iPhone X with an edge-to-edge display. Touch ID would be removed in favor of Face ID and the screen notch, as well as suggestions it would also eliminate the headphone jack.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    But that Samsung fingerprint reader, tho???
    cornchipredgeminipa
  • Reply 2 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    But that Samsung fingerprint reader, tho???

    This must be some sort of speed record for killing a rumour stone dead. 
    cornchip[Deleted User]
  • Reply 3 of 23
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,829member
    Seems bogus. But if it’s legit then I guess I keep my current 12.9” another year. 99% of the time I’m using it in landscape. Having to flip it to portrait to unlock would be a royal pain in the ass.
  • Reply 4 of 23
    roakeroake Posts: 624member
    Nope
    Rayz2016cornchip[Deleted User]
  • Reply 5 of 23
    If this is the case, I will be buying a current gen 10” Pro then. Especially if they’re going to put that ridiculous notch on the new iPad. There’s absolutely no reason for that on an iPhone, let alone the iPad. There’s plenty of bezel space to put the FaceID crap in without the need for a notch. And if all the new iPhones will have the notch, I’ll be getting an 8 Plus and I guess hang onto both of those devices til either they redesign again without the notch, or I guess that’ll be the end of my Apple tenure. I figure I should get about 5-7 years out of the iPhone 8 and about 7-10 years out of the iPad Pro, especially if I don’t upgrade past iOS 14 or so, right? Hell, my iPad 2 STILL works perfectly for what I use them for!
  • Reply 6 of 23
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,169member
    I don't understand why Apple uses a smart connector for their keyboard.   Bluetooth has worked quite well to connect keyboards for many years -- and also works very smoothly on the the regular iPad.

    I gotta think Apple has a reason -- they don't do dumb stuff like adding a part that serves no function (the iPad already has bluetooth).    So, I just don't get it.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,626member
    I don't understand why Apple uses a smart connector for their keyboard.   Bluetooth has worked quite well to connect keyboards for many years -- and also works very smoothly on the the regular iPad.

    I gotta think Apple has a reason -- they don't do dumb stuff like adding a part that serves no function (the iPad already has bluetooth).    So, I just don't get it.
    I think it is another example of a potentially great Apple idea that was introduced but just put out there, without fully supporting it, having that killer use case, driving enhancements or actually taking steps that discourage adoption by third parties, so that it slowly withers or becomes uncompetitive.  See force touch, touch bar, Siri, wireless CarPlay,  etc. etc.

    probably one part of Apple not having a clue what other parts are doing, not brought together by an executive group busy with other priorities.
    virtuacornchip
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Man, the sound of all these little feet stamping in righteous fury over a stupid render is quite amusing. 
  • Reply 9 of 23
    thttht Posts: 3,112member
    You guys remember this?

    Branding wise, I assume when someone says “Smart Connector” it is a magnetized contact pin interface. That iPad CAD image isn’t even remotely close to this, other than location. Maybe it is a fingerprint sensor, sure looks that more than a Smart Connector, who knows.
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 10 of 23
    starxdstarxd Posts: 128member
    Wow, seriously?  Why on earth do you think those holes are supposed to represent the Smart Connector, which is a single set of 3 holes?  This image shows two sets of 12 holes... which are quite obviously supposed to be the speaker holes.  

    Oh wait, are you saying that pill shaped thing on the BACK of the device is supposed to be the Smart Connector?  Ummm... ok.  Why would it be on the back?  And why would it be a single pill shaped thing rather than 3 dots?  Makes NO sense.  
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 11 of 23
    anomeanome Posts: 1,258member

    For a CAD render, that's surprisingly imprecise. The Apple Logo isn't in line with the "Smart Connector" and the Lightning port, it looks to be over to the right side of the device, which is very not-Apple. It's also lower than it should be, based on the apparent width.

    Finally, and I keep saying this, the Smart Connector doesn't make sense unless it is on an edge. It especially doesn't make sense on an iPad being anywhere other than the edge it is currently on. I really don't think Apple would move it. (Of course, I could be wrong, I have been before and will be again, but I don't get this at all.)

  • Reply 12 of 23
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    Seems bogus. But if it’s legit then I guess I keep my current 12.9” another year. 99% of the time I’m using it in landscape. Having to flip it to portrait to unlock would be a royal pain in the ass.
    I'm actually trying to understand why Apple would have any difficulty with people recognition at odd angles.   They have pretty much mastered the art of image rotation.   Adding an array of lasers to help with that shouldn't be a problem either.   Ultimately you would want your computer to be able to recognize you anytime you are with in its field of view.

    By the way I'm not sure what is wrong with Apple but this capability should be moving into their computers as soon as possible.    I was pretty shocked that the latest MBP update had so little new technology.   When it works these visual ID systems are very useful and make comuter usage that much more enjoyable and free of friction.  
  • Reply 13 of 23
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    If this is the case, I will be buying a current gen 10” Pro then. Especially if they’re going to put that ridiculous notch on the new iPad. There’s absolutely no reason for that on an iPhone, let alone the iPad. There’s plenty of bezel space to put the FaceID crap in without the need for a notch. And if all the new iPhones will have the notch, I’ll be getting an 8 Plus and I guess hang onto both of those devices til either they redesign again without the notch, or I guess that’ll be the end of my Apple tenure. I figure I should get about 5-7 years out of the iPhone 8 and about 7-10 years out of the iPad Pro, especially if I don’t upgrade past iOS 14 or so, right? Hell, my iPad 2 STILL works perfectly for what I use them for!
    It should be pretty easy to get 5-7 out of an iPad, maybe even more.    They have moved performance forward to the point that software is still catching up.    The big "?" mark is AI and how fast they can move that technology forward.   Ultimately AI will require more specialized hardware to work well than the current A series processor have.    Unfortunately it is also obvious that Apple is on the slow road with this tech.    They could get caught with their pants down just like RIM was caught off guard when iPhone came out.   

    So what am I saying?   Well for the near future they only real endearing tech on the radar is AI and that is something that will require hardware updates in my mind.   Then you have to ask can Apple get there in 5 years.   The obvious answer is no if they continue with Siri and its pathetic development track.   If Apple wakes up and gets its AI house in  order we might see something good happen but that will require advanced hardware.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    entropys said:
    I don't understand why Apple uses a smart connector for their keyboard.   Bluetooth has worked quite well to connect keyboards for many years -- and also works very smoothly on the the regular iPad.

    I gotta think Apple has a reason -- they don't do dumb stuff like adding a part that serves no function (the iPad already has bluetooth).    So, I just don't get it.
    I think it is another example of a potentially great Apple idea that was introduced but just put out there, without fully supporting it, having that killer use case, driving enhancements or actually taking steps that discourage adoption by third parties, so that it slowly withers or becomes uncompetitive.  See force touch, touch bar, Siri, wireless CarPlay,  etc. etc.

    probably one part of Apple not having a clue what other parts are doing, not brought together by an executive group busy with other priorities.
     On the other hand I never understood Apple desire to keep creative uses off things like iPad.   They do that with proprietary ports when there is no need for such ports and they reinforce the obstacles via the MiFi program.    There are hundreds of use cases for iPad that will never happen because the volume isn't there too support MiFi buy in.    It is nice that Apple as a pretty good lock on the pad market but they are also leaving much behind.

    In the end it really looks like much of what we see at the product reveals these days is simply non-sense to support a vigorous marketing program for technologies that end up forgotten in 6 months.    I have to agree that the touch bar is a perfect example of an idea that is quickly forgotten at Apple.   I'm not one to dis the Touch Bar as I see it as having great potential if available across Apple line up.   The problem is they needed to have new keyboards and other products with the tech built in on the market within a couple of months after the laptops came out.   Having the tech available across a wider array of Macs would have inspired a bit of developer confidence.   Right now who in their right mind would write software that only runs on a MBP?   So now more than a year has gone by and we have seen no signs that Touch Bar will be supported on all systems, it is pathetic from the standpoint of supporting software.

    While I'm not too happy with AI's Editorial slant of late what would really interest me is a long interview with Apple executives exploring these issues.   Because right now Apple has become the company you can't trust.   The follow through on the various initiatives they have launched is appalling.  The interview might happen but I doubt that we will ever see an answer to such questions.

    As for the executive group, I can sum up their problem in one statement: "they have a complete lack of vision" which has become apparent across the entire product line.   I could see firing half the executive line up and having nobody notice a difference in the products.   It is really sad to see a company like Apple start to loose the mind set of the educated and technically minded, they will have little to fall back on when the iPhone business levels off or even slows down.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,123member
    LOL, yyyyeah....Apple has lost its vision, fire half the executives, blah blah... I see a different sort of reality distortion field in effect. And from someone who claimed to have left the platform, as I recall. But still here to moan about it daily. Right.
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 16 of 23
    thttht Posts: 3,112member
    anome said:

    For a CAD render, that's surprisingly imprecise. The Apple Logo isn't in line with the "Smart Connector" and the Lightning port, it looks to be over to the right side of the device, which is very not-Apple. It's also lower than it should be, based on the apparent width.

    Finally, and I keep saying this, the Smart Connector doesn't make sense unless it is on an edge. It especially doesn't make sense on an iPad being anywhere other than the edge it is currently on. I really don't think Apple would move it. (Of course, I could be wrong, I have been before and will be again, but I don't get this at all.)

    It looked like Apple explored a Smart Connector design on the iPhone 7 Plus seriously, and made it to an EVT stage, or far enough for it to leak out to case makers:


    The only benefit I see to this is having more svelte smart cases that don’t use the Lightning port, like a battery case that feeds power through the Smart Connector, or some other function, like maybe a speaker or microphone, while not creating a big chin like a lot of the existing battery cases.

    So, a rumor involving a Smart Connector located right next to the Lightning port on the back isn’t unusual. Apple sees something there. The CAD image in the OP obviously doesn’t show this, and pill shape looks like a fingerprint sensor. That location makes zero sense on an iPad and the arguments for Face ID over Touch ID on the back ring doubly true an iPad. I’d sooner believe that pill shape is a button that locks a Lightning cable in, like the one in the Apple Watch. Just weird.

    The change in industrial design to flat sides like the 2010 iPad or the iPhone 5/5S is pretty interesting if true. That seems a rather remarkable change in design direction. A change to represent more PC type tasks? If true.
    cornchip
  • Reply 17 of 23
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,829member
    wizard69 said:
    If this is the case, I will be buying a current gen 10” Pro then. Especially if they’re going to put that ridiculous notch on the new iPad. There’s absolutely no reason for that on an iPhone, let alone the iPad. There’s plenty of bezel space to put the FaceID crap in without the need for a notch. And if all the new iPhones will have the notch, I’ll be getting an 8 Plus and I guess hang onto both of those devices til either they redesign again without the notch, or I guess that’ll be the end of my Apple tenure. I figure I should get about 5-7 years out of the iPhone 8 and about 7-10 years out of the iPad Pro, especially if I don’t upgrade past iOS 14 or so, right? Hell, my iPad 2 STILL works perfectly for what I use them for!
    It should be pretty easy to get 5-7 out of an iPad, maybe even more.    They have moved performance forward to the point that software is still catching up.    The big "?" mark is AI and how fast they can move that technology forward.   Ultimately AI will require more specialized hardware to work well than the current A series processor have.    Unfortunately it is also obvious that Apple is on the slow road with this tech.    They could get caught with their pants down just like RIM was caught off guard when iPhone came out.   

    So what am I saying?   Well for the near future they only real endearing tech on the radar is AI and that is something that will require hardware updates in my mind.   Then you have to ask can Apple get there in 5 years.   The obvious answer is no if they continue with Siri and its pathetic development track.   If Apple wakes up and gets its AI house in  order we might see something good happen but that will require advanced hardware.
    I’m assuming it’s a supply issue and iOS devices take precedence over Macs? 
  • Reply 18 of 23
    firelockfirelock Posts: 130member
    Either Apple has lost its collective mind, or this is the dumbest rumor ever. I’m going with the latter.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    wizard69 said:
       I was pretty shocked that the latest MBP update had so little new technology.  
    That’s because Apple builds machines for people to use, not for people who just buy Apple kit for bragging rights. 

    Buy yourself an Alienware machine. It has programmable lighting effects. I think that’s more your thing. 
  • Reply 20 of 23
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,349member
    Controlled leak to put people off the scent, cause confused conversation or catch a leaker.
Sign In or Register to comment.