iPad Pro
the Smart Connector for the 2018 iPad Pro might be moved to the back of the tablet. ustin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple is expected to announce a refresh of its iPad Pro lineup later this year. Now a supposed CAD render of the upcoming iPad Pro has surfaced online, and it looks like Apple might change the location of the Smart Connector.

The CAD render for the iPad Pro was leaked by Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) on Twitter. The leaker admitted that he couldn’t confirm the accuracy of the render, but he decided to share the image to spark some discussions. The render shows a portion of the iPad Pro’s back and its bottom edge. The bottom appears to have the speaker grilles and Apple’s Lighting port. A small part of the Apple logo is also visible on the back of the device and near the bottom edge sits an unknown pill-shaped hardware feature.

It’s being speculated that this might be the new location of the Smart Connector for the 2018 iPad Pro. The current iPad Pro models have their Smart Connectors located on the longer edge of the device and not at the backside near the bottom edge. This allows users to connect their Smart Keyboard accessory to have a laptop-like experience and prop up their iPad Pros horizontally.

The new placement of the Smart Connector may mean that the new 2018 iPad Pro models could have a redesigned version of the Smart Keyboard, as well. The current version of the Smart Keyboard won’t be compatible with the 2018 iPad Pro models. Even if Apple didn’t change the location of the Smart Connector, the tech giant would have still needed to redesign the Smart Keyboard anyway since previous leaks suggested that the 2018 iPad Pro would have slimmer physical dimensions, as pointed out by 9To5Mac.

Another odd thing about this purported leak is that it seems like Apple may want iPad Pro users to start using the device in portrait (vertical) orientation instead of landscape. A report from Japanese website Macotakara did claim last week that Apple would change the location of the Smart Connector for that very reason. The same site also reported that the 2018 iPad Pro won’t have the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The 2018 iPad Pro is rumored to arrive with a new design with slimmer bezels and an edge-to-edge display. The Touch ID fingerprint scanner is also expected to be removed from the device. Touch ID is expected to be replaced by Apple’s Face ID facial recognition technology, which also suggests that the new iPad Pros might arrive with a notch on its display, according to AppleInsider.