That's according to Bloomberg's (opens in new tab) sources within Apple, who note this major overhaul is coming to what we're going to call the iPad Pro 2022. The Apple insiders also added more credence to the rumors that a redesigned iPad mini could be on its way.
- iPad Pro 2021 (12.9-inch) review — the best, brightest and fastest iPad ever
- Check out the best tablets you can get today
- Plus: iPhone 13 could get a 5G speed boost — here's how
The iPad range currently uses aluminum chassis, machined for ports and speakers, as well as connectors for accessories like the Magic Keyboard. But a move to a glass back would enable the iPad Pro 2022 to not only charge wirelessly but also offer a form of reverse wireless charging; that's something the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 offer, but not the iPhone 12.
Apple wouldn't have the first wireless charging tablet on the market, though, as the Huawei MatePad Pro also offers this feature. However, the MatePad Pro isn't sold in the U.S., and Apple has a habit of refining such charging techniques; the new MagSafe system in the iPhone 12 is one such example.
We'd also expect other upgrades for the next iPad Pro, notably an improved chip — potentially the Apple M2 — and for the mini-LED display found on the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro to filter down to the 11-inch version. Improved graphics performance and better battery life would also be safe bets.
iPad mini 6 could have a major redesign
Bloomberg's report also also mentioned changes coming to Apple's other iPads. The basic iPad is said to be getting thinner, while the iPad mini 6 will receive slimmer bezels and will potentially lose its home button, like the iPad Pro and iPad Air.
Both the standard iPad and iPad mini are very much due a design overhaul, as they've stuck with the rather bezel-heavy displays for multiple generations. We can expect to see these two new tablets appear at the end of this year, according to Bloomberg's sources.
The report also says that Apple is still working on its AirPower multi-device wireless charging pad. This product was announced in 2017 but canceled shortly after, due to problems in development. There have been continued rumors of AirPower being under development again, however, although nothing has been officially announced by Apple.
Building on that, the company's also said to be looking into wireless charging over longer distances. We assume this is something similar to Xiaomi's Mi Air Charge demo from earlier this year, which uses electromagnetic waves to transmit power from a base unit to a nearby phone. It sounds futuristic, but it's certainly practical.
Apple is likely to reveal new iPads around the fall, where it usually has major product showcases. However, WWDC 2021 is coming next week, and there are rumors that new MacBook Pro laptops could be revealed at an event that's normally software-focused. So Apple could have a very interesting second half of the year when it comes to hardware.