DigiTimes: 5G iPad Pro Models With A14 Series Chip to Launch in Fall 2020

WiseAJ

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2009
488
860
PDX
I guess this is confusing. What is it that your current iPad Pro can’t do now that it needs to do by a potential fall release? Even if your iPad Pro is four years old, what is exactly that you’re experiencing that you couldn’t wait six months to upgrade if a new Pro model launches Sept/Oct 2020? (i.e Performance issues/latest features, ect.)
It doesn't support the Second generation Apple Pencil or USB-C. I've also noticed processing lag in some of the games I play on it.

I've also already been waiting since last fall. I only buy new devices right after new updates so I'm not getting the 2018 model at this point.
 

Dwalls90

macrumors 601
Feb 5, 2009
4,733
1,094
Apples "X" series chips are a half generation like a .5 demolition advantage. For example:

2014 - A08
2014 - A08X (iPad Air 2)
2015 - A09
2016 - A10 (entry iPad models 2019)
2016 - A10X (iPad Pro)
2017 - A11
2018 - A12 (consumer iPad models 2019)
2018 - A12X (iPad Pro)
2019 - A13
2020 - A14 (consumer iPad models 2021)
2020 - A14X (iPad Pro)
2021 - A15
2022 - A16 (consumer iPad models 2023)
2022 - A16X (iPad Pro)
2023 - A17
2024 - A18 (consumer iPad models 2025)
2024 - A18X (iPad Pro)

If you observe a pattern the iPad Pro silicone gets every second generation A series chips with a X boost. The consumer iPad models usually get the same A series chips as the iPhone's. Interesting to see if the Pro iPhone models will receive an X type of chip. The entry level iPad that was released in late-2019 just seems like an oddball with its 10.2" screen as it is so close to the Air 10.5", Apple should drop one of these screen size models it is way too close. If the Mini redesign gains an edge-to-edge display, Apple may be able to fit a 8" screen that way the iPad line up has some cohesion and simplicity to it.

iPad models: 8" and 10" (Consumer)_2" difference between models drop the "Mini and Air" moniker.
11" and 13" (Pro)_2" difference between models.

Difference between the larger screen size consumer model and smaller screen size pro model is 1" in-order to up sell. Apple needs to clear up it's product line in-order to make table space at the Apple Store to have other products such as AR/VR Lenses/glasses, etc.
Despite me wanting a WWDC or earlier release date, this seems like a plausible prediction based on historical patterns. That said, Apple has done some weird stuff with the iPad line. Introducing the iPad 2, then dropping the number after the name for the subsequent model and just referring to it internally as 3rd gen. Or the iPad mini, which received sporadic updates and then none at all for many years. Or the iPad Air that existed then disappeared and came back again.
 

mabhatter

macrumors 6502a
Jan 3, 2009
837
198
I’d SWAG that the March iPad release might be another “education” one. It’s been about two years since the last one. Maybe bump vanilla iPad up to A12 processors?

They certainly won’t repeat the fiasco of having the “X” processor for iPad Pro 6 months after A13, and then wait 18 more months for an update. iPad WAS on an 18 month cycle, but moving to 24 months makes sense. Then we’d get a September iPhone event and an October iPad Pro event again... with A14x onboard.

I would be in the market forva replacement for my 9.7” ipp by then.
 

OverChris

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2019
14
10
There is no need to release an update in March. Unless they decide to give it the A14X. The current model is blazingly fast. iPad's are getting into computer territory performance wise. An 18 month update cycle is completely unnecessary, especially at this price range. It will have to have a stronger body, at least 6-8GB of Ram, and the A14X for me to even give it a second glance. I'm not an iPad camera person, so that really doesn't matter. If they had the option of a camera-less iPad I would go for it.
I think there is a need to update the iPad Pro, but not a need for consumers to upgrade. I personally don't want to buy the current model, just for the reason that it is already 1 1/2 years old and the prices barely dropped. Apple is by far leading in the tablet market, but that doesn't release them for a need to go forward.
 

Ungibbed

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2010
621
125
USA
My second generation 12.9 despite having the A10X is still quite fast for what I use it for. Sure it chugs a little bit when using my anatomy app (Complete Anatomy '20) and a jump to a A14x would be quite a boost. I'd like to see a higher resolution display in the iPP.
 

Justanotherfanboy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2018
674
1,153
I think updating in March and then again in September or October is really incredibly unlikely.
This doesn’t make any sense from a timing perspective. Why would Apple release an updated iPad Pro in March and again in October?!
Not really understanding your use of the word “updating”.... what I get from the article is: WiFi version may be ready in spring, whereas a cellular version may not be ready until fall.
That’s not a different iPad.... just one w/ cellular.
 

name99

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2004
644
374
If they update in March, September seems a little soon to update again. I'm still hoping the next update has 5G in it. Thinking about upgrading.
It's hard to predict iPad futures based on rationality because there appears to be very little rationality driving the product line!
Remember Steve Jobs and his basic 2x2 portable/desk x amateur/pro quadrants? The iPad team looked at that and said, nah, not for us..

Right now we seem to have FOUR separate iPad lines. There's
- iPad cheap (A10, $330)
- iPad middle (A12, $500)
- iPad expensive (A12X, $800 and up)
- iPad small (A12, $400)

Given all this, there's clearly scope for a lot of weirdness. The option that makes the most sense (IMHO) is
- create an A13X on 5nm as a "test chip" for 5nm. Apple has done this before - the A10X was on 10nm while the A10 was on 16nm, and the A10X appeared ~6 months before the A11. The advantage of using the X chips this way is that no-one expects a particular schedule for them, so they can absorb unexpected issues resulting from the new process without the delay causing any embarrassment.

- OK so we get A13X in H1, going into iPad Pro's. MAYBE also with the new Broadcom WiFi6E chip, to boost the radio specs, though that chip may be too new. (Of course new is when it is announced -- who knows when Apple was told about it by Broadcom...)

- could that iPad Pro also get 5G? Maybe. The battery and thermals are a lot more tolerant, even if the chipset available today would not meet Apple's phone demands. Perhaps it gets 5G, but not mmWave?

- meanwhile there is ALSO scope for a general upgrading of all the iPads in H2. Something like
- iPad middle definitely moves to A14 plus some version of 5G (basically iPhone in a bigger box)
- iPad cheap moves up to A11 or A12 (I assume no 5G yet)?
- iPad small moves to A13 plus some version of 5G?

There's additional confusion related to (oh god we all hope so!) the ever closer approaching ARM Mac.
If THIS is the year that the ARM Mac is announced at WWDC, there will presumably need to be developer machines (in and outside Apple) and it would make sense for the first round of these to be based on something like an A13X, even if the consumer machines following six months to a year later are based on some sort of "A14Z" chip specialized for larger machines and a higher power envelope.
Point is, the needs of the ARM Mac might justify the creation of an A13X now, EVEN IF there's going to be an A14X (and/or A14Z) just a few months later.

(And one great thing about Apple is they do do a good job of getting on-going value out of their chips! Even if the A13X seems to have a limited six month run in iPad Pro's and weirdo Macs, it may go inside the 2022 aTV or iPad Air or something.)
- - Post merged: - -

Apple needs to focus on software and not releasing buggy IOS features. iOS 13 was one of the worse releases for bugs.
This might surprise you, but the people in the company with skills at designing the hardware do not have skills at writing the UI software, and vice versa.
Telling the hardware team to sit still for two years will do precisely NOTHING to fix the software problems...
 

GuruZac

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2015
990
2,247
As @reallynotnick noted above, if there is an A14X iPad Pro released this fall, there is no A13X to use this spring. A14X would be 5nm, and the timing fits with 5G.

There was no A11X, the current A12X is a beast, and a fall A14X with 5G is what makes sense to me. Last December, Kuo also forecasted an A14X iPad Pro for 3Q2020, but last month he said 1H2020 🤷‍♂️

I can’t see how a March iPad makes sense for any of the 5 models.
I see your point, although, we are coming up on 18 months since the 2018 iPad Pros were released. I can see them doing an A13X release for April with the upgrade triple cameras, upgraded RAM. This is similar (other than the RAM upgrade) Apple did on the iPad Pro 2nd gen when they released those at WWDC 2017 with the A10X when the A11 came out right afterwards. Hard to imagine a full two years between iPad Pros, although the A12X is still way ahead of most performance requirements.
 

BarrettF77

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2015
526
579
The difference in an A13X and 12x is marginal at best. And to think they would tip their hand of an A14 before the iPhone 12 is laughable. Their number one money maker will get the introduction.
These predictions are just that. How much confidence do you have in your weatherman. Same applies here.
Triple cameras and a slight speed bump are negligible when nothing comes close.
They will wait, when the competition gets close, release the A14x and again have another several year lead. Anything new now would only be what the iPhone already has.
 

jacjustjac

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2008
205
312
New York, NY
I think updating in March and then again in September or October is really incredibly unlikely.
I think I remember them doing this with the iPad 3rd generation with Retina Display in March 2012 and then the iPad 4th gen with lightning connector. I wasn’t too upset, the 3rd gen was still a beast.

My guess is they give it an A14X but stick with 4G until September which is plenty fine for people who would buy just the WiFi version anyways. I’d also guess they start the 2020 iPad Pro cheaper at $699 and possibly discontinue the iPad Air (one can dream right?). I just want that USB-C drive capability but I don’t want to pay up the nose for it.
 

GuruZac

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2015
990
2,247
The difference in an A13X and 12x is marginal at best. And to think they would tip their hand of an A14 before the iPhone 12 is laughable. Their number one money maker will get the introduction.
These predictions are just that. How much confidence do you have in your weatherman. Same applies here.
Triple cameras and a slight speed bump are negligible when nothing comes close.
They will wait, when the competition gets close, release the A14x and again have another several year lead. Anything new now would only be what the iPhone already has.
That all may well be true, but the difference in the A9X to A10X was huge, and Apple introduced the A11 in the iPhone 8/8Plus and X, even faster than the A10X just 3 months later. I can easily see them offering a refreshed 3rd gen iPad Pro with 11 Pro cameras, A13X, and 6GB base RAM this Spring or early Summer. The iPad Pro is so far ahead right now and having been completely overhauled in the 3rd Gen, I see no real reason to make major changes. Much like the iPad Pro 1st Gen to 2nd Gen.
 

Royksöpp

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2013
1,014
1,239
I think I remember them doing this with the iPad 3rd generation with Retina Display in March 2012 and then the iPad 4th gen with lightning connector. I wasn’t too upset, the 3rd gen was still a beast.
Maybe for a split second It was a beast. We all saw how well that worked out.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
6,019
7,334
Sunnyvale, CA
The iPad 3 got 4G LTE in March 2012, well before the iPhone 5.
True, but iPhone was late getting 4G/LTE. This time, Apple and Qualcomm are already under the gun just to get 5G ready for iPhone this fall.

If the A14X isn't already in production, I don’t see how there could be a March release. Unless the iPad Pros are going to use A13X, then A15X in fall 2021. In other words, keeping to an ≈18 month cycle.
 
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rp2011

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2010
1,356
1,034
With orders for the A14 supposedly up by at least 50%, means they will be adding it to a lot of other products in 2020. It makes sense to add it to devices that will not be updated for 2 to 3 years so as to not lose any advantage until then. The iPad/pro and the Apple TV fit that bill.

And with Apple Arcade and a supposed push for gaming, I can see this new Apple TV console with an A14X being far more gaming friendly.
 
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PickUrPoison

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Sep 12, 2017
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Sunnyvale, CA
As someone with an Air 2, give me an Air 4 with a 2019 processor and I’m sold.
The current Air 3 is less than a year old and has the A12, which was the processor available for most of 2019. There’s little point to refreshing it with an A13, and I can’t imagine the Air sells in a quantity sufficient to justify a yearly upgrade.

I’d expect a fall release for Air 4 at the earliest, with A14. Or maybe not until spring 2021, still with A14.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,615
4,951
The current Air 3 is less than a year old and has the A12, which was the processor available for most of 2019. There’s little point to refreshing it with an A13, and I can’t imagine the Air sells in a quantity sufficient to justify a yearly upgrade.

I’d expect a fall release for Air 4 at the earliest, with A14. Or maybe not until spring 2021, still with A14.
I'd be quite surprised to see an iPad Air 4 in 2020. My expectation is 2021.

True, but iPhone was very late getting 4G/LTE.
I'm not sure that's true. There were very, very few meaningful 4G LTE releases until 2011, and the chipsets were high power. The iPhone 5 LTE came out in 2012, with a lower power 4G chipset. Yet, the iPad 3 LTE came out before it.

The 5G release parallels this. There were very, very few meaningful 5G releases until 2019, and the chipsets were high power. The iPhone 12 5G comes out in 2020, with a lower power 5G chipset. It would not be completely surprising to see an iPad Pro 5G precede it too, or else show up at around the same time.
 
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PickUrPoison

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Sep 12, 2017
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Sunnyvale, CA
I'd be quite surprised to see an iPad Air 4 in 2020. My expectation is 2021.


I'm not sure that's true. There were very, very few meaningful 4G LTE releases until 2011, and the chipsets were high power. The iPhone 5 LTE came out in 2012, with a lower power 4G chipset. Yet, the iPad 3 LTE came out before it.

The 5G release parallels this. There were very, very few meaningful 5G releases until 2019, and the chipsets were high power. The iPhone 12 5G comes out in 2020, with a lower power 5G chipset. It would not be completely surprising to see an iPad Pro 5G precede it too, or else show up at around the same time.
If you’re saying a 5G iPad could come out before September/October, I couldn’t disagree more.

I personally wouldn’t be surprised to see the 5G iPad Pro SKU slip into November/December, or even 1Q2021. With its relatively low demand, I don’t think the 5G versions of iPad Pro are going to be a particularly high priority, you may disagree.
 

HappyGeoCacher

macrumors newbie
Jul 3, 2019
4
0
Technically it does't make sense to have two updates in 2020.
From a sales or revenue perspective it makes a lot of sense for Apple.
 

PlayUltimate

macrumors 6502
Jul 29, 2016
292
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Boulder, CO
Right now we seem to have FOUR separate iPad lines. There's
- iPad cheap (A10, $330)
- iPad middle (A12, $500)
- iPad expensive (A12X, $800 and up)
- iPad small (A12, $400)
I would argue that there are actually three product lines:

Basic
Mid Range (small: Mini & large: Air)
Pro (small: 11" & large: 12.9")
 
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