Upcoming Apple iPad models hinted in code leak, including a new iPad Mini and M5 Pro sporting model

Why it matters: Apple is stepping up its game with its iPad lineup. According to some backend code published on X, the next iPad Pro may sport the yet-to-be-announced M5 chip. Cupertino should also refresh the rest of the line this year or next.

Recently discovered backend code has possibly revealed several upcoming iPad models from Apple, even though it recently introduced the iPad Pro 2024, which sports the cutting-edge M4 chip, and two sizes of the iPad Air 2024. The code was discovered by Nicolás Álvarez and published by Aaronp613 on X.

The posts provide few details, but Apple watchers have connected the dots based on the published code. Admittedly, some of it is confusing. For example, the code includes an iPad Pro with the M3 processor even though the latest model has the M4 chip. One theory is that this was a device in development but later scrapped.

The first four listed are iPad15,7, iPad15,8, iPad16,1 and iPad16,2. These likely refer to two models with two connectivity options–WiFi only and WiFi with cellular. There is also mention of iPad17,x.

It is helpful that Apple faithfully follows similar code identifiers, with the codes often having a value lower than the chip inside the device. Perhaps most intriguing is that it suggests that Apple might include its next-generation M5 chip on the next iPad Pro. The current M4 iPad Pro uses identifiers iPad16,5 and iPad16,6, so iPad17,x logically points to M5 models.

Apple engineers are reportedly designing the M5 with advanced packaging technology from TSMC, including a hybrid System on Integrated Chip (SoIC) design. Cupertino supposedly intended this silicon for future Macs and AI-focused cloud servers. The company aims to begin mass production in 2025 or 2026, so we shouldn’t see an M5 iPad Pro until at least early 2025.

Rumors indicate that Apple is refreshing its entire iPad lineup this year. With the Pro and Air already updated, we could assume that the two devices coming this year will be the 11th-generation iPad and the 7th-generation iPad mini. Based on the post, the iPad should have an A16 processor, while the iPad mini could sport an A17 chip. If true, this would represent a two-generation jump from previous models. Then again, the next iPad mini could feature the M2 chip currently in the 2024 iPad Air, as Apple has typically given its smaller tablet the same features and price points as the iPad Air.

Apple traditionally releases a new iPad and iPad mini in October, so the company may announce these models alongside the iPhone 16 series in September. Another school of thought is that because Apple released refreshed editions of the iPads this year, the new models are more likely to come some time in 2025. We shall see in just a few months.

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