iPad Crayon maker slips, possibly confirms new Apple iPad Pros are coming

iPad Pro 11
(Image credit: Future)

We’ve been expecting a new Apple iPad announcement before the end of the year and now one of Apple’s closest accessory partners may have confirmed new Pro models are coming.

Our friends at 9to5Mac have noticed Logitech now says that its Crayon Digital Pencil will work with two iPad Pro models that have yet to be announced. If this reflects future products, this means an update to the iPad Pro 12.9-inch and iPad Pro 11-inch tablets could be here very soon. 

On the Logitech site for the Crayon, it lists compatible devices, including a “6th gen” iPad Pro 12.9 and a “4th gen” iPad Pro 11-inch. The current larger iPad Pro is on the fifth generation, and the 11-inch model is on generation three, so this would seem to be a hint at the next generation of devices. We already pegged a new iPad launch in the October timeframe, so it’s not a huge surprise to see these models poke their heads above the surface around the end of September. It’s more surprising to see a trusted partner leak the information.

Samsung uses technology developed by Wacom in its S Pen stylus, and is therefore compatible with many third-party accessory makers. Apple uses a proprietary tech for its Apple Pencil, and Logitech is the only third-party currently licensed to make a pencil that works with Apple screens. Other stylus devices for iPad are hardly more than finger pointers with a tip that registers on the capacitive screen. They don’t take advantage of the accuracy and advanced features of Apple’s technology like the Logitech Crayon Digital Pencil. The Crayon is one of our favorite Apple Pencil alternatives

Will they be as Pro as the  iPhone 14 Pro?

New iPad Pro devices would be very exciting to see, as Apple has launched a next-generation chipset in its A16 Bionic platform, found only in the iPhone Pro devices. Perhaps Apple was saving more of these chips for Pro-level iPads and wanted to keep Pro-exclusivity across the line. We will see next month when we expect Apple to finally make its announcements.

We are following upcoming iPad announcements closely, now that the mania from the iPhone 14 family and Apple Watch Ultra launch is starting to calm down. If you’re interested in learning more about the current generation of iPads and everything they can do, we break it all down in our roundup of the best iPads.

Analysis: Someone is in very big trouble

Before an iPhone announcement, we get tons of emails from case and accessory manufacturers claiming to have gear ready for the next big thing, but they’re only guessing. Apple is highly secretive. Even the most popular brands of accessory makers don’t have specific details on the new products until the absolute last possible moment, and often that is not until after the public announcement. 

Logitech has a special status, though, because it is an exclusive partner for Apple’s own technology. Apple trusts very few third-party companies in this way. Even the smallest violation of trust can have repercussions throughout the business. A small mistake on a website may seem like a minimal error, but Apple could perceive this as a lax attitude throughout the business to guard its corporate secrets. The company has the most guarded reputation in all of technology. 

Philip Berne
US Mobiles Editor

Phil Berne is a preeminent voice in consumer electronics reviews, having reviewed his first device (the Sony D-EJ01 Discman) more than 20 years ago for eTown.com. He has been writing about phones and mobile technology, since before the iPhone, for a variety of sites including PCMag, infoSync, PhoneScoop, and Slashgear. He holds an M.A. in Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Phil was the internal reviewer for Samsung Mobile, writing opinions and review predictions about top secret new devices months before launch. He left in 2017. He worked at an Apple Store near Boston, MA, at the height of iPod popularity. He has been a High School English teacher at Title I schools, and is a certified Lifeguard. His passion is smartphones and wearables, and he is sure that the next big thing will be phones we wear on our faces.