A reported “leak” has popped up that purportedly shows a new case (pictured) for the upcoming iPad Pro models, with the internal shots of the plain case appearing to have a new cut-out on one side that could be used for a relocated Smart Connector.
A July rumor from the Japanese site Macotakara said the 2018 iPad Pro would move the connector to the lower rear side next to the Lightning connector. If Apple is, for some reason, planning a second Smart Connector … well, okay. But if it does move the location, that’s a really dumb move.
The Smart Connector transfers data and power between an iPad Pro and compatible accessories. No batteries or charging is required. For instance, when you attach a compatible keyboard, you can immediately start typing. When you remove it, the onscreen keyboard automatically reappears.
Lots of folks use the iPad Pro with a Smart Keyboard for typing. Unless Apple has some amazing alternative, moving the Smart Connector to the rear side would mean the need for a new keyboard that would only work when the iPad Pro is sitting vertically, not in landscape mode. That makes no sense.
So I’m dismissing these rumors and the leak of the new case. Unless Apple has a scenario that I can’t imagine, the Sellers Research Group predicts the Smart Connector will remain in its current location. Perhaps the cut-out on the case (if the image is genuine) is for another port/feature that will surprise us.