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Apple is widely expected to announce new iPad Pro models as early as April, and ahead of time, accessory maker ESR has added a variety of 2021 iPad Pro cases and folios to its online store that offer some potential design clues.

esr-ipad-pro-cases.jpg

While the cases suggest that the next-generation iPad Pro will not have any significant design changes, ESR informed MacRumors that there will be fewer speaker holes on the new models. This lines up with a report from Japanese website Mac Otakara, which in January claimed that the number of speaker holes on the new iPad Pro models will be reduced by one third, although the reason for this supposed change is unclear.

A one-third reduction would work out as follows:
  • 11-inch iPad Pro: 13 holes per speaker → 8-9 holes per speaker
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro: 17 holes per speaker → 11-12 holes per speaker
The new iPad Pro models are still expected to feature four speakers for stereo sound, with two on the top edge and two on the bottom edge.

The new iPad Pro models are expected to be equipped with a faster A14X chip that is virtually identical to the M1 chip in the latest Macs. Last week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that the new models could also feature Thunderbolt support, which is certainly plausible given that the M1 chip supports Thunderbolt on Macs. Gurman also expects improved cameras and a Mini-LED display on at least the 12.9-inch model.

Mac Otakara reported that the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be approximately 0.5mm thicker, whereas the 11-inch model will apparently have the same thickness, further suggesting that a Mini-LED display could be exclusive to the larger model.

The new iPad Pro is also expected to support 5G with a Qualcomm modem in cellular models.

esr-airpods-3-case.jpeg

As noted by French website iPhoneSoft, ESR has also listed new cases for third-generation AirPods that suggest Apple's wireless charging case will be slightly elongated, as previously rumored. The new AirPods are expected to have a similar design as the AirPods Pro, but without Active Noise Cancellation or silicone ear tips to maintain differentiation.

Article Link: Next iPad Pro Will Have Fewer Speaker Holes According to Accessory Maker
 
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julesme

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2016
392
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San Jose
I just hope the existing 11" Smart Keyboard still fits the new Pro because I already picked one up for $99 on sale. It will either be an great investment, or a really stupid move, to buy a keyboard for a device that hasn't been released yet. Either way, I'm dying to find out...
 
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ilikewhey

macrumors 68020
May 14, 2014
2,089
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nyc upper east
I just hope the existing 11" Pro keyboard still fits because I already picked one up for $99 on sale. It will either be an incredible investment or a boneheaded move on my part. Come on Apple!
from what i read it doesn't sound like it does, otherwise you won't be seeing them on heavy discounts for the past months
 
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GeoStructural

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
765
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Colombia
I don't like the speaker grill getting smaller, iPad Pro is the best sounding tablet I have encountered and I want to keep it that way given is my chosen device.

This manufacturer can expect some backlash from Apple. They sign secrecy agreements about upcoming products to protect interest in the current line-up. A few years ago Target was punished by Apple by receiving supplies last for revealing an iPad, I don't remember which.
 
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Freida

macrumors 68040
Oct 22, 2010
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YES!!!! THICKER!!!!!! Finally - if that turns out to be true then I will be even happier. Sturdier is all I want. No more bend gate. This is awesome if true.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
Less speakers worst sound. I honestly think the new iPad Pro should have more speakers. It gives you better sound and sound quality.
Fewer speakers doesn't equate to worse sound. Apple could use a higher quality speaker to deliver better sound. We don't know. Fewer speakers just equates to fewer speakers. If true, I'd be more inclined to think Apple would be using a higher quality component instead of offering degraded sound on their top tablet offering.
 

Kdawg'sDad

macrumors newbie
Oct 10, 2020
3
6
“ESR informed MacRumors that there will be fewer speaker holes on the new models.”

I‘m confused. Reducing by 2/3’s means -8 or -11 speaker holes in the grills, not down to 8 or 9 and 11 or 12 holes in the grills.

Also, the article says holes in the speaker grills, not number of, nor quality of, nor quantity of the SPEAKERS changing.
 
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Seanm87

macrumors 68000
Oct 10, 2014
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If it becomes thicker then it becomes heavier. Does this mean the weight distribution on the magic keyboard will be off and they'll have to release a new even heavier one?
 

CarpalMac

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Nov 19, 2012
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Fewer speakers doesn't equate to worse sound. Apple could use a higher quality speaker to deliver better sound. We don't know. Fewer speakers just equates to fewer speakers. If true, I'd be more inclined to think Apple would be using a higher quality component instead of offering degraded sound on their top tablet offering.
Technically you are of course correct.

Reality though, I mean, well, this is Apple. The only time they will use a higher quality component is if they can increase the price and add a model derivative.
 

Joe Rossignol

Editor
Staff member
May 12, 2012
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“ESR informed MacRumors that there will be fewer speaker holes on the new models.”

I‘m confused. Reducing by 2/3’s means -8 or -11 speaker holes in the grills, not down to 8 or 9 and 11 or 12 holes in the grills.

Also, the article says holes in the speaker grills, not number of, nor quality of, nor quantity of the SPEAKERS changing.
Reduced by one third... sorry. Two thirds the current amount. Corrected this.
 
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Unregistered 4U

macrumors 601
Jul 22, 2002
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YES!!!! THICKER!!!!!! Finally - if that turns out to be true then I will be even happier. Sturdier is all I want. No more bend gate. This is awesome if true.
Oh, it’ll still bend. Don’t be under any assumption that it won’t. AND, I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say that it will continue to be true that no one (outside Apple) will perform the scientific analysis to determine precisely what level of pressure or torque is required to bend it.
 

Freida

macrumors 68040
Oct 22, 2010
3,459
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Of course it will still bend. The question is not whether or not it will bend. Just like iPhone 6 and 6S. Both bend but the force needed for each is different.

Thicker though means a bit more stronger so less likely having issues in the future (like some where reported). Ideally, Apple should use stronger Aluminium (just like they did with 6S) and be done with it. Considering how much the device costs I would like to have peace of mind and not to have to extremely babysit the device. I look after my devices really well but I'm after longevity and things can happen. Like at the airport the stuff sometimes rearrange the tray etc. Books in a bag can apply some pressure so yeah, I want something that will be as good as iPad Pro 2017 version. That was sturdy.
This one flexes just way too much for my taste and seeing that I keep my devices for long (still rock my Air 2 that is almost perfect - except white spot) then I just want that peace of mind.
Hence why I haven't bought it yet as I'm waiting for this to be improved. :)

Oh, it’ll still bend. Don’t be under any assumption that it won’t. AND, I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say that it will continue to be true that no one (outside Apple) will perform the scientific analysis to determine precisely what level of pressure or torque is required to bend it.
 

1258186

Cancelled
Feb 5, 2021
813
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I just hope the existing 11" Smart Keyboard still fits the new Pro because I already picked one up for $99 on sale. It will either be an great investment, or a really stupid move, to buy a keyboard for a device that hasn't been released yet. Either way, I'm dying to find out...
They’re bound to change something so you have to buy a new case.
 
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Unregistered 4U

macrumors 601
Jul 22, 2002
4,305
2,874
I want something that will be as good as iPad Pro 2017 version. That was sturdy.
This one flexes just way too much for my taste and seeing that I keep my devices for long (still rock my Air 2 that is almost perfect - except white spot) then I just want that peace of mind.
The sides of the 2017 were curved and the arc provided some degree of resistance that the flat sides Apple’s keen on now will never provide. And, because no one has done any scientific testing, the ONLY way you’ll know if it’s “more durable enough” is to actually take it through YOUR specific use cases.
 
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