2018 iPad Pro May Go Thinner and Drop the 3.5mm Headphone Jack

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro CAD drawings

It has been several years now since Apple dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone lineup, and it’s always felt like a matter of time before the company would do the same thing for the iPad, too.

The $329 iPad didn’t remove the headphone jack, so it looks like it’s the job of the 2018 iPad Pro lineup to handle the transition. And that is apparently what’s going to happen, based on a new rumor swirling around. To facilitate the change, though, Apple is aiming to reduce the size of the upcoming 10.5-inch iPad Pro (or 11-inch, depending on which rumor you want to lean into today) by a few millimeters.

Apple is rumored to be making the new iPad Pro, the smaller of the two variants, just 5.9mm thick. That would be compared to the 6.1mm thickness of the current 10.5-inch iPad, so it’s not nothing. But, to reach that point (which is probably as thin as we need to make a tablet, honestly), it sounds like Apple has decided this is the year to drop the headphone jack.

This rumor does have some weight to it, as far as rumors are concerned, as it stacks atop a few leaked images of what are believed to be CAD illustrations of the upcoming 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, which indicates the smaller variant will be 5.86mm thick. Those images were published on SlashLeaks recently. They also indicate that Apple is going to go all-in with USB-C this year, apparently dropping the Lightning port on the tablet.

It’s also likely that the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro will slim down, too. It would be interesting to see if Apple keeps the headphone jack in the larger model, even though that’s not likely.

At this point, it’s looking more and more likely that Apple is going to host an October event to announce the latest iPad Pro lineup. Competing reports have suggested the devices will measure in at either 10.5 inches and 12.9 inches, or 11 inches and 12.9 inches, with this latest leak leaning towards the two latter variants. It is expected Apple will drastically shrink the bezels on the iPad Pro models, following in line with the iPhone X design, and that the tablets will support Face ID in landscape mode.

So, as the rumor mill starts to spin a bit faster and we start to paint a pretty clear picture of what’s coming down the pipe, are you already planning on making a 2018 iPad Pro model your new tablet?

Our Take

None of these rumors seem outlandish, and it seems like a matter of fact that Apple will drop the headphone jack from this year’s tablet lineup. That’s all well and good. Still, even if the new iPad Pro offers the same display resolution as the model it’s replacing, with those smaller bezels, Face ID, and more, one has to wonder just how much we’re going to be paying for these things.

[via MacRumors; SlashLeaks]