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iPad Pro 2022 just tipped for surprise design change

A concept render of the iPad Pro 2022
(Image credit: MyDrivers)

A new rumor suggests that Apple could be switching to a four-pin Smart Connector from the current three-pin one on the 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro 2022

The Smart Connector is used to connect to accessories like Magic Keyboard, Smart Folio and other smart keyboards. The rumor comes from Mac Otakara (opens in new tab) that mentions “reliable sources” have said that the iPad Pro could get a four-pin Smart Connector that “may be a terminal to assist in powering peripherals that connect to the Thunderbolt/USB-C port on the M1 chip-equipped iPad”. 

In other words, it could make it much easier to power different accessories. The Smart Connector could always provide power to both the iPad and the accessory that is connected through it. Now, as this rumor suggests, the connector will be able to also power accessories that are connected through the Thunderbolt/USB-C port.

The rumor also goes on to say that the rest of the iPad Pro chassis design will remain the same as the current iPad Pro 2021 and there will be two of these four-pin Smart Connectors on the next gen iPad Pro as new additions  — one on the top and on the bottom side edges.

Image of a close up of the iPad Smart Connector along with the Apple Pencil

(Image credit: Poravute Siriphiroon/Shutterstock)

The iPad Pro 2022 is tipped to get three big upgrades: wireless charging, a better camera and an M2 chip. In addition, there were also rumors about Apple bringing MagSafe charging to their tablets, as it has on the iPhone 13. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg had also said that we might see reverse wireless charging on the iPad’s this year.

This could mean that the four-pin connectors are useful in aiding wireless charging or even MagSafe chargers for the Pro. Especially with new wireless charging accessories that could probably work better with the iPad Pro’s large frame. Although, it is worth noting that MagSafe on the Mac uses a five-pin connector.

We don’t have a date yet for the upcoming iPad Pro, although we could probably expect it to release in fall. It is unclear if it will be launched with the iPhone 14 series (that is rumored to come in September) or later in October. Beta versions of Apple’s upcoming OS are already out, including the iPadOS 16 but a recent report mentions that Apple is reportedly delaying iPadOS 16 until October. If true, this could hint at an iPad Pro launch around then.

In the meantime, check out our Apple September event preview for all the products we expect to launch. 

Sanjana Prakash
News Editor

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.