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New Case Supports Rumors of Imminent 9.7-Inch iPad Pro With Smart Connector


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Less than two weeks before Apple's rumored March 21 media event, where the company is expected to announce a new 9.7-inch iPad, more aftermarket cases for the iPad Air 2 successor have appeared on Chinese commerce website Alibaba.

The case below, like others before it, has openings for a Smart Connector, four speakers, and a LED camera flash, lending credence to rumors claiming the tablet once tentatively referred to as "iPad Air 3" will instead be a miniaturized iPad Pro.

Aftermarket case for new 9.7-inch iPad (Image: iGeneration)

A dummy insert provides a closer look at how the ports could be aligned on the new iPad, including a power button, 3.5mm headphone jack, and two speakers on the top; Lightning connector and two speakers on the bottom; volume buttons and a microphone on the right side; and a Smart Connector on the left side.

Multiple reports have claimed the new 9.7-inch iPad will have a faster A9X processor, Smart Connector, four speakers, and a LED flash, while a sketchier rumor from DigiTimes said the tablet could have a 4K display and up to 4GB of RAM. The tablet is expected to have both Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support.

Apple is expected to issue press invites soon for its March 21 event, where a new 4-inch "iPhone SE" and minor Apple Watch updates are also anticipated. There is also a slim possibility that refreshed Macs could be announced at the event, as the time is right for updates, but there have been no rumors confirming that is the case.

Article Link: New Case Supports Rumors of Imminent 9.7-Inch iPad Pro With Smart Connector
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Reactions: MrUNIMOG


macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2014
I have a feeling new macs at WWDC in June... When was the last time they were announced in the spring?
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Jun 3, 2015
It appears that Apple is just throwing anything that comes in to their mind. First...they thought.."hey I have a great idea! Let's give them a large tablet and call it pro!" "Why?" engineers asked. "Because they will be a professional spender!"

Then Jon and his "pals" then came up with a legendary idea...."hey guys...since the first pro was successful, lets try to make it more cooler by making it small." "Why?" engineers asked. "Because we want them to think it's different by making it smaller and lighter." "We thought iPad pro was suppose to be big." "Not really...we're gonna make it small because people are suckered into buying new."

A legendary myth....ancient story about a consumer named, david vs. Apple, the Golith's brother.


macrumors newbie
Feb 18, 2016
Just my prediction. But with all of these welcome additions, especially Pencil support and 4K display, it'll be starting at $599 32GB


macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
here and there but not over there
Really hoping that this one will have all the features of the iPad Pro (pencil, smart keyboard support, ...) plus all the features of the latest iPhone (especially the force touch) .... yes I use and love force touch.

To convince me to upgrade from my perfectly well working iPad Air, it needs to have all of the latest tech.
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Sep 22, 2012
Is there a technical reason for the flash being below the camera or is it just a cosmetic change?


macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
Still has the 3.5mm headphone jack? Yuck.

Such a change will happen on the iPhone first, it is their main product.

Id be really surprised (and disappointed) if there wasnt at least apple pencil support added

I expect the new iPad to have the pencil and the smart keyboard. They are expensive accessories, so it is more profitable for Apple to sell them to a larger customer base.
Maybe pencil and smart keyboard won't make their way in iPad mini so it will be a premium feature for the more expensive iPads. Besides I wouldn't use a pencil on a small tablet, and the smart keyboard needs a large form factor to have decent keys size.
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