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Planned overhaul of iPad Pro to support wireless charging could be shelved

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)
(Image credit: Apple)

Last June, we brought you compelling news that Apple was working on a redesigned iPad Pro for 2022 with support for MagSafe magnetic wireless charging – as seen on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 – and a glass back. This, we raved, could pave the way for new swathes of iPad accessories, including magnetic docks that might hold the tablet suspended in air plus iPad cases to 'snap' the puck-shaped Apple MagSafe charger into place.

However, according to a fresh report, adding iPhone tech to iPads isn't as easy as a snap, after all. 

What's the problem? Well, although Apple still reportedly wants to implement MagSafe in the 2022 iPad Pro, a new 9to5Mac report claims that the rumoured glass-back design may have been shelved.

According to "sources familiar with Apple’s design plans", Tim Cook's behemoth was unsure about using glass on the back of the iPad since it would make the large tablet easier to crack or break – far less durable than the current aluminium casework. However, keeping the iPad Pro's aluminium back apparently makes it difficult to enable compatibility with Apple's MagSafe Charger.

As an alternative, 9to5Mac's sources claim that the Cupertino giant has been working on a new iPad Pro prototype sporting a larger Apple logo (similar to the one on the new MacBook Pro), but made of glass. Power could then be transmitted through just the glass logo, without the rest of the casework having to be fashioned from the more fragile material. The prototype also reportedly boasts stronger magnets to minimise accidents and supports faster speeds than MagSafe for iPhone when charging.

Other rumours and leaks in the report include claims of a larger battery for the 2022 iPad Pro (which will come as welcome news to Magic Keyboard users), a "brand new chip" and a camera setup similar to the one found on the iPhone 13. That new chip claim is perhaps most intriguing, since it was the splendid (and What Hi-Fi? 2021 Award-winning) Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)'s M1 chip that really took the tablet to the next level, boasting vast performance upgrades over previous processors. 

Does the iPad Pro 2022 really need MagSafe wireless charging? No, but as we said in our review of the latest 12.9-in iPad Pro (2021) at this stage, each new iPad feels like an incremental improvement on the one before it. 

With iPhone 12 users onwards now able to enjoy the benefits of MagSafe, the notion of not having to physically find the USB-C port on your iPad Pro to charge it is certainly one area Apple considers ripe for a nip and a tuck. 

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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.