The next Apple iPad Pro may have a glass back rather than a metal one to facilitate the introduction of wireless charging, and also incorporate the company’s MagSafe technology according to a new rumor. As reported by Bloomberg, it’s also stated Apple is still working on a new version of the iPad Mini, and a wireless charging platform that may not need direct contact with a device to charge it.
A switch to glass on the 2022 version of the iPad Pro would bring the tablet closer in style to recent Apple iPhone models, as would adding MagSafe. Wireless charging isn’t common on tablets, even after first being seen on the Huawei MatePad Pro in 2020, but is definitely a helpful feature.
The report also says Apple may add a reverse charging feature, where the tablet’s large battery cell could wirelessly deliver power to another device, such as an iPhone, Apple Watch, or wireless charging AirPods. Adding MagSafe to other Apple products has always been inevitable, and would give third-party manufacturers a chance to get creative with case and stand accessories for the tablet.
Regarding the iPad Mini, Bloomberg’s anonymous source says the small tablet being worked on may have thinner bezels around the screen, and have the TouchID-enabled home button removed. If correct, this would give it a style closer to the iPad Air (2020), rather than the 8th-generation iPad. A refreshed iPad Mini has been rumored for a while, but it didn’t arrive alongside the 2021 iPad Pro as seemed likely for a while. Bloomberg’s source indicates it may still arrive this year.
What about the advanced wireless charging platform? It’s described as a wireless charger that, “works over greater distances,” making it sound like the device to be charged does not have to rest on a charging plinth. Over-the-air wireless charging has been worked on for years, with companies like Ossia being well-known for developing the technology, and even Xiaomi recently announcing it’s working on something similar. However, it’s still in the early stages, and we haven’t seen any consumer-ready versions yet. Apple’s version, even if it turns out not to be on such a grand scale, is also said to be several years away from being ready for sale.
Sales of the iPad have increased over the past year, so it’s no surprise to see Apple putting plenty of effort into creating even more desirable models, especially as it’s common for tablets to be kept for a lot longer than smartphones before an upgrade is considered. However, while the advancements described by Bloomberg’s source sound credible, they are not official yet, and plans may change between now and release.