2020 iPad Pro event reportedly cancelled, major delays possible

2020 ipad pro when is it coming?
(Image credit: Future)

For months, the 2020 iPad Pro release had been a given for March. A new report, however, is some reason to think we might be waiting a whole lot longer for Apple's high end tablet. 

As you might expect, the delay is being attributed to concerns around coronavirus, which have knocked out everything from MWC to SXSW and even E3. It starts with Cult of Mac reporting that the unannounced (but rumored) Apple March 2020 event is now cancelled. 

The event, which was also to reveal the iPhone 9, was called off because of Apple execs growing "concerned" about throwing a hoopla with 1,000 or so media folks from around the world. It was to be held at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in Cupertino, California. Their concern is quite reasonable, as media events typically cluster those hundreds of reporters into an auditorium, practically elbow-to-elbow.

This led our sister site TechRadar to speculate that an event for the iPad Pro and iPhone 9 could come even later this year, in the Q4 (Oct. to Dec.) window. Their logic? Apple would want to keep with tradition and not get in the way of its expected iPhone 12 launch event, as its flagship iPhone event has kept a lock on the month of September.

Why the 2020 iPad Pro could still drop on time

But I wouldn't bet on that being Apple's definite, guaranteed path going forward. While coronavirus concerns will have a wide-rippling impact on the company's calendar — I don't expect a traditional WWDC this year — Apple doesn't need to have in-person events for hardware. 

Just look back to the AirPods Pro, one of Apple's biggest hits in recent years. Apple announced these buds in an Oct. 28 press release, and then sent them out to reviewers and stores, completely foregoing any in-person event. The 16-inch MacBook Pro also dropped without such an event. 

If the 2020 iPad Pro's updates are a three-lens camera that's just like the iPhone 11 Pro's, 5G connectivity and a new Apple processor, it doesn't have much public education necessary for the new iPad, as we're already familiar with these concepts.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • ChrisGX
    For months, the 2020 iPad Pro release had been a given for March.
    Really, are you sure about that? An iPhone SE 2 event was scheduled for March and that indeed has been cancelled. But there wouldn't be any near ready iPad 2020 product to show this month (March). It would have been a very difficult exercise to launch a product that doesn't exist yet! The A14X chips to be used in the 2020 iPad will start rolling off TSMC's production lines some time in April, probably. Perhaps, there will be something to show at WWDC in June but it is improbable that products will make it to market before September or October.

    The iPhone SE 2, if Apple still wants to launch it, might be ready by June but I don't think we will see the 2020 iPhone until September or thereabouts.