The next iPad Pro is pretty much figured out at this point thanks to a number of leaks, but there’s one aspect of the tablet that’s still a mystery – the position of the Smart Connector. Back in July, Japanese blog Mac Otakara claimed that Apple had relocated the part from the side to the bottom.
This seemed pretty unlikely at the time since this change would force you to connect an iPad Pro to the Smart Keyboard in an awkward vertical position instead of the current horizontal one. The publication claimed Apple was doing this because Face ID is only going to work vertically.
Frequent tipster Steve Hemmerstoffer AKA OnLeaks later revealed a CAD render of the iPad Pro where the Smart Connector was in a new position entirely. Instead of the side or bottom, the part appeared to be right above the Lightning Port at the back.
What’s more, the cutout had a new oblong shape. This made things even more confusing. It sort of looks like a home button, but on the back instead of the front. Some might even say it looks like a rear-facing fingerprint scanner. Apple is pretty solidly in the Face ID camp now though. A return to Touch ID seems very unlikely at this point, especially at the rear.
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Slashleaks has now posted two new images to further cement this strange new part. The photos allegedly depict the 10.5-inch iPad Pro (2018) with a prominent pill-shaped cutout at the back. MacRumors points out that the cover has a hole where the Smart Connector usually stays on the side, but on the opposite edge next to the volume buttons.
If the cutout isn’t for the Smart Connector, perhaps it’s for a new accessory which can be magnetically attached to the iPad Pro. It could even be meant for wireless charging. Of course, it’s also possible that this case is fake. We’ll find out the truth of the matter in September or October when the new iPad Pro makes its first official appearance.