A third-party case that’s supposedly for the rumored iPad Pro refresh shows what looks to be dual Smart Connector ports—or at least a repositioned Smart Connector. The case somewhat matches a leaked CAD image, but it looks more like a speculation on what the new iPad Pro could be.
The photo of the iPad case was posted on Slashleaks with the caption, “ALLEGED 10.5-INCH IPAD PRO (2018) CASE WITH MYSTERIOUS NEW CUTOUT ON THE BACK.”
The photo shows a case for a tablet-size device that could be an iPad, or maybe not. It includes cutouts in the right place for the iPad cameras, volume controls, and Lightning port, but there’s an extra cutout below the volume controls. It could be access for a SIM card slot, or some people are speculating it could be a second Smart Connector.
Just got my hands on a purported 2018 iPad Pro CAD showing a unknown thing located on the back of the tablet… NB: I can’t confirm the accuracy of that CAD I share for discussion purposes only because of that weird and yet unexplained detail… 😉 pic.twitter.com/9R7jeLDfLV
— Steve H. (@OnLeaks) July 30, 2018
Assuming it’s a second Smart Connector, the port is on the wrong side. The Smart Connector is used for Apple’s external keyboard cover, and attaching it on the edge closest to the camera would block the volume controls. Even if the keyboard cover’s spine is short enough to expose the volume buttons, they’d be on the bottom edge and inaccessible when using the keyboard.
There’s also a small cutout on the opposite edge of the case where the Smart Connector should be. That’s possibly a microphone opening.
Apple’s Coming iPad Pro Refresh
Apple is reportedly releasing new iPad Pro models this fall. Both will sport edge-to-edge displays like the iPhone X, ditch the Home button along with Touch ID, and add Face ID support. The larger size iPad Pro model will reportedly stick with a 12.9-inch display while the smaller model’s screen will increase from 10.5-inches to 11-inches.
There’s a good chance Apple really does have new iPad Pro models ready to announce. This case, however, doesn’t do anything to back that up. It’s either a case designed from a leaked CAD image that may or may not be accurate, or it’s a case for a different tablet.