Since its inception the iPad has been a portrait-first device. The orientation of the Apple logo and the position of the cameras and other features show that, but Apple could soon make landscape the focus instead if a new leak is right.
According to iOS developer and Apple analyst @dylandkt on Twitter, future models in the iPad Pro range will have a horizontal Apple logo and a horizontal camera placement, so that landscape is the default orientation.
They claim to be unsure whether the iPad Pro (2022) will have this design, but supposedly this change is in the works, so it might happen sooner or later.
Future iPad Pro's will feature a horizontal camera placement and a horizontally placed Apple logo on the back. Apple will make landscape mode the default for iPad Pro usage. I have not confirmed whether the next generation model will have this feature but it is in the works.September 23, 2021
As ever we’d take leaks with a pinch of salt, especially as this would be a big change for Apple. This is also the first we’ve heard of this change – though we’ve previously heard that the iPad Pro (2022) could have a glass back, so some sizeable changes may be in the works.
However, there’s no mention of other iPads getting this orientation change, so don’t count on seeing this on the iPad, iPad Air, or iPad mini range. That somewhat makes sense, as a landscape orientation is arguably better for some of the productivity tasks that an iPad Pro excels at. Then again, it’s also better for videos, and only shifting one range to landscape could seem strange.
Analysis: what could this mean for the iPad Pro?
If Apple really is planning to make landscape the focus for future iPad Pro models then the changes might go beyond the camera and logo orientation, as there might also be a different aspect ratio.
While this hasn’t been rumored, a move to 16:9 would make the iPad Pro range a better fit for movies, which is a common landscape use. Recent iPad Pro models have already moved slightly in that direction, abandoning the 4:3 aspect ratio used by most iPads, but they’re still not there yet.
Other changes meanwhile could include reworked software designed to make the most of the orientation, and perhaps a new camera position. It’s not clear from the leak whether the cameras would move or just have a different orientation, but it’s possible that they could be shifted to the middle of one of the long edges for a more central view.
This is all just speculation for now, but with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 having a more landscape-friendly aspect ratio, it’s certainly possible that Apple would fall in line.
- Read our full new iPad 10.2 (2021) review
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.