iPad remains the world's most popular tablet by a significant margin, having outsold competing devices from rivals Samsung and Amazon combined last year, according to data shared by research firm IDC today.
Apple sold a total of 43.8 million iPad units in 2017, as confirmed by its quarterly earnings results, while IDC estimates that Samsung and Amazon shipped 24.9 million and 16.7 million tablets respectively on the year. The combined Samsung-Amazon total of 41.6 million tablets is 2.2 million lower than iPad sales.
Apple captured a 26.8 percent share of the tablet market in 2017, meaning that roughly one in every four tablets sold last year was an iPad. Apple's tablet market share rose 2.5 percentage points year-on-year.
Last week, Apple reported revenue of $5.8 billion from iPad sales in the fourth quarter of 2017, representing growth of six percent compared to the year-ago quarter. Apple's average selling price of an iPad was $445, up slightly from $423 in year-ago quarter, suggesting more higher-priced iPad Pro sales.
Apple's growth in iPad sales, albeit relatively flat, contrasted with the overall tablet market's 6.5 percent decline in shipments in 2017 compared to 2016. iPad has been the world's most popular tablet since shortly after it launched.
Apple has steadily added various Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular configurations with 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB of storage since mid January, with prices reduced by around 15 percent compared to what Apple charges for brand new models. All three colors are available, including Space Gray, Silver, and Gold.
In the United States, for example, there are Wi-Fi models with 64GB of storage available for $679, a discount of $120. Wi-Fi models with 256GB and 512GB of storage are also in stock for $809 and $979, down from $949 and $1,149, respectively. Various other configurations are available, including in Canada.
Apple says its refurbished products are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged with a new white box and all manuals and accessories. Apple also installs a new battery and replaces the outer shell, making it nearly impossible to distinguish between a refurbished and brand new iPad Pro.
All refurbished iPad Pro models come with Apple's standard one-year warranty effective on the date the tablet is delivered. The warranty can be extended to up to two years from the original purchase date with AppleCare+ for iPad, at a cost of $99 in the United States and Canada for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
All in all, these deals provide customers with an opportunity to save between $120 and $170 off the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, originally released in June 2017. Keep in mind better deals are often available from resellers, so keep an eye on our Apple Deals roundup for the latest sales.
iHelpBR editor Filipe Espósito has discovered strings in the first iOS 11.3 beta that refer to a "modern iPad," which is notable since Apple's software engineers referred to the iPhone X as the "modern iPhone" in older firmware, according to both Espósito and developer Guilherme Rambo.
While the "modern iPad" strings could be placeholders, as commonly found in Apple's code, the discovery lends credence to rumors of an iPad Pro with Face ID, which would certainly be a logical next step in Apple's product roadmap.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also expects Apple to release a new iPad Pro with Face ID this year, so there is a good chance the rumor is true. Like the iPhone X, the tablet reportedly lacks a Home button, although it will likely still have an LCD instead of OLED display due to supply, cost, and technological constraints.
It's unclear if the iPad Pro will have a notch for the TrueDepth system, as illustrated in the first mockup above, or if the device will have uniformly slim bezels on all four sides with enough room for the Face ID sensors.
Apple today has shared two new iPad Pro ads titled Augment Reality and Take Notes. The short 15-second clips, set to the song "Go" by Louis The Child, are part of a larger campaign ongoing since last year.
The first ad focuses on how the iPad Pro can run augmented reality apps based on Apple's new ARKit platform for iOS 11.
The second ad focuses on how the Apple Pencil can be used to create multimedia notes on an iPad Pro running iOS 11, along with the ability to draw, type, or drag and drop photos from Apple's Files app. A few clips from this ad were previously shared in Apple's longer What's a Computer? ad in November.
The two ads follow yesterday's new 38-second ad titled A New Light, in which Apple explained how Portrait Lighting offers studio quality lighting effects without a studio and showed off various examples.
Apple is planning a significant investment in LG Innotek to secure supply of 3D sensing modules for next-generation iPhone and iPad models expected to launch this year, according to Korean website The Investor.
iPad Pro render by Benjamin Geskin and rough mockup of iPhone X and iPhone X Plus
The upfront payment could be worth as much as around $820.9 million, which LG Innotek would use to build additional facilities for production of 3D sensing and camera modules for smartphones, the report claims.
The 3D sensing modules assembled by LG Innotek, including the flood illuminator and dot projector, are key components of the iPhone X's new TrueDepth camera system, enabling features such as Face ID and Animoji.
The investment could help Apple avoid the temporary supply chain issues it experienced with 3D sensing modules late last year, ensuring availability of the iPhone X, iPhone X Plus, and new iPad Pro is more plentiful.
Back in October, Google released the Google Pixelbook, a portable laptop/tablet hybrid machine that runs Chrome OS. We got our hands on one of the Pixelbooks from Google, and we decided to pit it against the iPad Pro, Apple's tablet that's powerful enough to serve as a PC replacement.
Priced starting at $999, the Pixelbook is more expensive than even the largest iPad Pro. Apple charges $649 for the entry-level 10.5-inch iPad Pro and $799 for the entry-level 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
For $999, the Pixelbook comes equipped with a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD, with all of the components upgradeable for a higher price tag. It has a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, putting it on par with Apple's larger iPad Pro, and it offers 10 hours of battery life.
The Pixelbook is just as portable as the iPad Pro, and it has the benefit of a 2-in-1 design with a 360-degree rotating hinge, which means it can be used as a traditional laptop or folded back for use as a tablet, complete with accompanying pen. As a laptop, the Pixelbook is on par with other ultraportable notebooks, but as a tablet, its keyboard is adding some extra thickness you won't see on the iPad Pro.
Though convertibility is a nice feature and wins out over the traditional tablet form factor, Google can't quite compete with Apple when it comes to software and performance due to issues with some unoptimized Android apps running on the Pixelbook. The iPad Pro's A10X Fusion chip is incredibly speedy, and optimizations like Metal 2 mean apps run super fast and super smooth on Apple's tablet.
The Pixelbook isn't slow by any means, and ChromeOS does offer increased security much like iOS, but the Pixelbook's high price tag, operating system limitations, and size are tough to swallow compared to the lower-priced and just-as-capable iPad Pro.
Like 2017, 2018 promises to be a major year for Apple, with many new products on the horizon. We'll get Apple's first smart speaker -- the HomePod -- this year, along with a second-generation version of the iPhone X accompanied by a larger-screened version for those who want to go even bigger.
A new iPad Pro with Face ID is said to be in the works, and this is also the year when Apple's AirPower wireless charging mat will debut. Beyond that, we can expect Mac refreshes, new software, a new Apple Watch, and maybe that new modular Mac Pro.
Below, we've rounded up all of the products we're expecting to see from Apple in 2018 based on both current rumors that we've heard so far and past release information.
HomePod - Early 2018
HomePod is Apple's first Wi-Fi connected smart speaker, designed to compete with existing smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. It was originally meant to debut in December, but Apple delayed its launch to an unspecified date in "early 2018."
With HomePod, Apple focused on sound quality, with a 7 tweeter array, each with its own driver, and a 4-inch upward-facing woofer for crisp, distortion free sound. An A8 chip powers spatial awareness features, allowing the HomePod to analyze a room and then adjust the sound accordingly.
Siri is built into HomePod, and there's integration with Apple Music for Apple Music subscribers. Using a six-microphone array, HomePod can detect Siri commands from anywhere in a room, so Siri can be used to play music, answer queries, and more.
We don't know exactly when HomePod will be released, but it should come out in the first few months of 2018. Apple plans to charge $349 for the speaker.
Apple introduced three iPhones in 2017 -- the iPhone X, the iPhone 8, and the iPhone 8 Plus -- and current rumors suggest we'll also see three new models in 2018.
The first iPhone we're expecting will be a followup to the iPhone X with the same 5.8-inch OLED display. Rumors suggest it will be accompanied by a second OLED iPhone, this one measuring in at 6.5 inches, which means it can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus."
Alongside these two OLED iPhones, Apple is also said to be planning to introduce a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display, positioned as a more affordable device targeting the low-end and midrange markets with a starting price of $649 to $749 in the United States.
Apple's planned 2018 iPhone lineup, via Ming-Chi Kuo
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, all three of these iPhones will feature edge-to-edge displays, Face ID, and TrueDepth camera systems, which means the end of both the Home button and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in new iPhone models for the time being.
Kuo believes the 5.8-inch model will have a display with 458 pixels per inch, indicating the same 1125 x 2436 resolution as the iPhone X, while the larger 6.5-inch OLED model will offer 480 to 500 pixels per inch. The LCD model, which, as mentioned, will be positioned as a lower cost device, will have a lower-resolution LCD display with 320 to 330 pixels per inch.
Kuo's predictions are often accurate, and he was able to share many details on the iPhone X ahead of its launch, so the three-iPhone rumor is credible.
It's not clear what other features we may see in the 2018 iPhones aside from Face ID and edge-to-edge displays across the board, but a faster processor is a guarantee, and Apple may also adopt improved battery technology to offer longer battery life. New LTE modems are also in the works, which will allow for faster LTE connections.
All of the new iPhones are likely to use the same general design as the iPhone X, with glass bodies to support wireless charging, though one unsubstantiated rumor has suggested the lower-end device might instead include a metal frame.
With the iPhone X, Apple changed its naming scheme for the iPhone, so it's anyone's guess what. the 2018 devices will be called. Apple could name the next-generation iPhone X and its larger sibling the iPhone XI and the XI Plus, but it's not clear if that's what the company plans to do.
Face ID has been well-received in the iPhone X, and rumors suggest Apple is planning to deploy it to additional devices, including the iPad Pro.
A high-end 2018 iPad Pro could adopt many of the design elements of the iPhone X, with slimmer bezels, no Home button, and Face ID powered through the same TrueDepth camera system introduced in the iPhone X.
A faster processor and custom Apple-built GPU are also rumored for the new tablet, but it's not expected to gain an OLED display, with Apple continuing to use an LCD because of technical and financial constraints.
We haven't heard rumors on the size of this updated tablet, but Apple is likely to stick with the 10.5-inch form factor. Whether we'll also see a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with slimmer bezels and no Home button remains to be seen, but a separate rumor has said all 2018 iPad Pro models will feature Face ID and a TrueDepth camera.
Apple may also have a new version of the Apple Pencil in the works, but what improvements might be included aren't known at this time.
Rumors suggest Apple may introduce the iPad Pro "a little more than a year" after the prior iPad Pro update, which was in June, so we may see the 2018 iPad sometime around September.
In 2017, Apple introduced a new 5th-generation 9.7-inch iPad with the lowest price we've seen yet - $329 for the 32GB model. Though not as thin as the iPad Pro, and missing features like Apple Pencil support and ProMotion display technology, the iPad has an A9 processor and is a capable, powerful device.
Rumors suggest Apple could introduce an even lower-cost iPad in 2018, with a price tag that starts at $259. That would allow Apple to better compete in the lower cost tablet market. This rumor comes from DigiTimes, though, a source that's not always entirely reliable, so it's not yet clear if Apple does indeed have an even more affordable iPad in the works.
If there is a new iPad coming, it could be introduced in early 2018, a year after the March 2018 debut of the fifth-generation iPad.
Apple has been updating the Apple Watch on an annual basis, so we're expecting to see a fourth-generation model in 2018. These updates have come in September alongside the iPhone for the last two years, and Apple will likely follow the same schedule for 2018.
The Apple Watch has not seen a redesign since it was first introduced in 2015, so 2018 could be the year that Apple introduces a new look for the wrist-worn device. We haven't heard rumors about a redesigned fourth-generation model, but there was some talk about a redesign for the Apple Watch Series 3.
That didn't happen, but there's a possibility that info was referring to an Apple Watch coming at a later date because it did come from a reliable source - Daring Fireball's John Gruber.
Rumors have suggested Apple will perhaps use micro-LED displays for the 2018 Apple Watch, which would allow for a thinner, lighter display with improved color gamut and brightness.
New sensors could also be in store, as Apple has been testing EKG functionality for the Apple Watch. The feature would require users to place two fingers on either side of the Apple Watch to record the electrical activity of the heart to better detect irregularities. It's not known if this functionality will be ready to debut in 2018.
Other sensors could be in the works, as could accessories that add new health-related capabilities to the device. Apple has been testing non-invasive blood glucose monitoring techniques, but it's not likely this is something ready to debut in a product, and while Apple has patented bands that have built-in sensors, it's also not clear if this is something that will come to fruition. Both are possibilities, though.
The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X introduce support for Qi-based inductive charging for the first time, allowing them to work with Qi-certified chargers. There's no Apple designed charger on the market yet, but as Apple announced in September, an accessory is in the works.
Called the AirPower, Apple's wireless charging device is designed to charge the Apple Watch, the AirPods, and the iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus all at the same time. It will work with the three newest iPhones, the Apple Watch Series 3, and the AirPods with a new inductive charging case that's in the works.
Apple has not announced pricing or a launch date beyond the nebulous "2018" for the AirPower, but rumors suggest it could cost somewhere around $199 in the United States.
Next-Generation AirPods - Mid to Late 2018
Apple in September introduced a second-generation AirPods case that's coming out in 2018 alongside the AirPower charging mat, which is designed to allow the AirPods to charge wirelessly.
In addition to this inductive charging case, Apple is also said to be planning to debut an upgraded version of the AirPods themselves in the second half of 2018. There's no real word on what improvements might be made to the AirPods in 2018, but a "smaller quartz" component is one prediction from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the source of the rumor.
Better Bluetooth connectivity, an upgraded W1 chip, and new color options are all possible features Apple could introduce in updated 2018 AirPods, but nothing is confirmed at this point.
iMac and iMac Pro - Mid-to-Late 2018?
Apple refreshes the iMac on a yearly basis, so we're likely to see updated 21.5 and 27-inch machines with 8th-generation Coffee Lake chips from Intel. The bump to Coffee Lake should introduce some nice speed improvements, as Intel says they're up to 32 percent faster than previous-generation chips.
The iMac hasn't seen a design refresh since 2012, but it's not yet clear if other changes are in store beyond updated internals.
As for the iMac Pro, it's a new product that was just introduced in December of 2017, so we don't yet know its refresh schedule. In the past, Apple has not updated its pro machines on a yearly basis, so it's not yet clear if it will be refreshed with updated components in 2018.
The MacBook Pro is typically refreshed on an annual basis, and 2018 should be no different. We're expecting a minor spec bump with 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh chips, and perhaps some other improvements that include faster RAM and SSDs.
In 2017, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was working on a higher-end MacBook Pro machine for professional users with 32GB RAM, set for a 2017 launch, but no such machine materialized. Whether there's actually such a product in the works remains to be seen.
Given that the MacBook Pro's design was just updated in 2016, we're not expecting any design changes in 2018. The last refresh was in June of 2017, so a 2018 refresh could also happen in June following the Worldwide Developers Conference.
The MacBook is another machine that Apple normally updates on an annual basis, and this year's refresh is likely to introduce 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh chips for speed and efficiency improvements.
Other internal components could also be updated, but no external design changes are expected as it's only been two years since the MacBook came out.
Apple in 2018 is expected to introduce new versions of the software that runs on iOS devices, Macs, the Apple Watch, and the Apple TV. In 2018, we expect to see iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12.
As it does every year, Apple is likely to introduce these new software updates at the Worldwide Developers Conference, typically held in June. Following WWDC, beta versions will be provided to developers and eventually public beta testers for testing purposes ahead of an eventual September release alongside new iPhones and other new products.
We haven't heard a lot about what we can expect to see in iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12, but one rumor has suggested Apple is working on a universal app solution that would allow developers to create apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Currently, developers must develop apps for iOS and macOS separately.
A unified app system would mean developers could create a single app able to run on iPads, iPhones, Macs, the Apple Watch, and the Apple TV with less effort, as currently, iOS apps can already be extended to the Apple Watch and the Apple TV.
Apple is tentatively planning to introduce this universal app change in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14.
No other hints on what we can expect in next year's software updates have surfaced as of yet, but we're likely to learn more as the next Worldwide Developers Conference approaches.
Products We Might See
Apple TV Shows
Apple is delving into original television programming in a big way, and it's possible the first of the company's new TV shows could launch in 2018.
So far, Apple has purchased the rights to three new TV series: an "Amazing Stories" reboot with Steven Spielberg based on the original sci-fi show that ran from 1985 to 1987, an untitled "morning show drama" starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and an untitled space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, best known for creating the 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica.
Amazing Stories from 1985
The morning show drama is described as an "inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning," while the space drama "explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended."
Apple just recently purchased all three of these shows and none of them are in production, so it's not entirely clear when exactly each one will debut.
The Mac mini, which hasn't been updated since 2014, is in dire need of a refresh. We've heard no real word about work on a new Mac mini machine, but in October of 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple plans for Mac mini to be "an important part" of the Mac product lineup going forward.
We don't know if 2018 is the year when the Mac mini will finally be overhauled and updated, but it's a possibility. If Apple does plan on introducing a Mac mini update at some point, it could come in June or September, and it could include 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors from Intel and Thunderbolt 3 support.
Apple in April announced plans to introduce a next-generation high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of the company's pro user base. Apple plans to ship the machine alongside an upcoming Apple-branded pro display.
Work on the new Mac Pro didn't commence until spring of 2017, and all Apple said about a release date is that it wouldn't be ready in 2017. Apple's made no mention of 2018, but it's possible the Mac Pro will come late in the year. We may, in fact, hear more about it at the Worldwide Developers Conference, which will likely take place in June.
Apple has a dedicated team working on the Mac Pro, designed specifically for "demanding pro customers." Apple is committed to making the Mac Pro the highest-end desktop system able to accommodate VR and high-end cinema production.
People who prefer smaller 4-inch iPhones are undoubtedly hoping for a new version of the iPhone SE, the updated 4-inch device Apple introduced in the spring of 2016. We really haven't heard any concrete, reliable rumors suggesting another version of the iPhone SE is in the works, but there have been some less credible hints.
Supply chain sources told Taiwan's Economic Daily News that a second-generation iPhone SE is in the works for the first half of 2018, with the device to be assembled by Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron at its factory in Bangalore, India.
An entirely questionable and unverified rumor from Indian site Tekz24 has said the next iPhone SE will include an A10 chip, 10GB RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and thinner side bezels, but we're not sure that's accurate information.
The Apple TV 4K was released in September of 2017, and so far, Apple hasn't been doing yearly Apple TV updates. Prior to the 2017 release of the Apple TV 4K, there was an updated model released in 2015, but no 2016 refresh.
With an A8 processor in the Apple TV 4K, it's fast enough to hold up for a few years, so we're not expecting to see a new Apple TV in 2018.
Apple refreshed the MacBook Air in 2017 with slightly faster Broadwell processors, but aside from that, the device, which is Apple's most affordable laptop, has not been updated since 2015.
Apple is likely phasing the MacBook Air out in favor of the MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, both of which make the "Air" moniker antiquated with their slimmer bodies. The MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro are still not machines Apple is able to sell for under $1,000, so the MacBook Air may stick around for another year or two in its current incarnation. No upgrades are expected, though.
We've heard multiple rumors suggesting Apple is prototyping augmented reality smart glasses and virtual reality headsets, but while these products are in development, a release is not expected for a couple of years yet.
According to the most recent rumors, Apple is working on an augmented reality headset with a dedicated display, built-in processor, and a new "rOS" operating system based on iOS, with the "r" standing for reality. Apple is said to be aiming to finish work on an augmented reality headset by 2019 ahead of a launch it hopes will come in 2020.
A new version of ARKit is rumored to be in development, though, and that could come as soon as 2018. New ARKit functionality could include multi-player game support and support for persistent tracking. Apple in November bought its first VR/AR hardware company, VRvana. VRvana developed a virtual reality headset called Totem, which was designed to combine both augmented and virtual reality technologies in a single headset.
Apple is working on an autonomous driving system, but development on the software is still in the early stages and it's not likely we'll see any kind of finished product in 2018. Testing is ongoing on the roads around Apple's Cupertino offices using autonomous driving software and specialized equipment installed in Lexus SUVs.
One of the Lexus SUVs Apple is using to test its autonomous driving software
While no finished products are expected, we may hear more about Apple's work on autonomous software throughout the year. It's not really clear when something will come of Apple's efforts.
Apple today shared a new "What's a computer" iPad Pro ad on its YouTube channel, highlighting the myriad things an iPad Pro can do along with new iPad features introduced in iOS 11.
The video, set to the song "Go" by Louis The Child," shows off the iPad's versatility as a computer replacement, following a teen as she chats with friends, takes and edits photos, writes a paper, draws with the Apple Pencil, reads comics, and more while on the go.
Features and accessories covered in the video include split-screen multitasking, the iOS 11 dock, the iPad's camera capabilities, the Apple Pencil, the Smart Keyboard, and photo markup
At the end of the spot, the teen's mom asks her "What are you doing on your computer?" And she responds, "What's a computer?"
Vimeo today announced that support for high dynamic range (HDR) videos has officially arrived across the company's entire suite of apps for the iPhone X, 2017 iPad Pro models, and Apple TV 4K. Vimeo said this means it's "the only video-hosting platform available in HDR" on Apple's platforms right now. This might be a reference to YouTube, which has been notably absent from including 4K video on its Apple TV app due to each company supporting different HDR codecs.
For Vimeo, the company said that it's enabling HDR with 10-bit graphics and a BT.2020 wide color gamut by leveraging the next-generation High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard to keep file sizes at manageable levels. This will allow video makers and editors who shoot in HDR the ability to upload to Vimeo "in the highest color accuracy possible."
We now support 10-bit video, which means the image quality is strikingly clear and cleaner than ever before. The precision and nuance of 10-bit allows us to upgrade from 16 million colors to 1 billion colors.
With BT.2020 (or Rec.2020) support and wider color gamuts (WCG), your image will now represent over 75% of the color that the human eye can see. That’s a big change: most modern color gamuts in videos are limited to a 35% color range. But with BT.2020, we can truly depict your deepest reds, brightest greens, and darkest blacks like never before.
The new support also unlocks resolutions in up to 8K, according to Vimeo, which viewers can watch on devices that support output of these resolution levels (4K, 5K, 6K, and 8K), or download them for file sharing later. Because Vimeo is also a video marketplace where creators can sell videos, the company noted that 8K Ultra HD support isn't just about streaming video (since 8K displays are still nascent in the market), but also for selling, distributing, and submitting videos to festivals "in the best quality possible."
Viewers will be able to know when a video is available in HDR with an included "HDR" badge on the video page and player, which Vimeo automatically detects and displays. Like all HDR and high-resolution content, viewers will need a screen that supports HDR 10 and HEVC, so anyone with an iPhone X, a model of the latest iPad Pro from 2017, and Apple TV 4K will be able to watch this content on their devices.
Vimeo content in HDR will also include a separate standard definition version of the video, for users who don't have access to HDR-capable devices. Any device will be able to download HDR HEVC files so they can share and transfer the videos to other platforms, as well.
For more information on Vimeo's HDR support, check out the company's blog post here. Vimeo is available for free on the iOS App Store [Direct Link] and tvOS App Store.
Apple's next-generation iPad Pro models released in 2018 will feature octa-core processors, based on Taiwanese supplier TSMC's improved 7nm manufacturing process, according to Chinese website MyDrivers.
The report, citing sources within Apple's supply chain, claims the eight cores in the tentatively named A11X Bionic chip will include three high-performance "Monsoon" cores and five energy-efficient "Mistral" cores.
Like the A11 Bionic chip in the latest iPhone models, which is built on a 10-nanometer process, the A11X chip will reportedly feature TSMC's integrated fan-out wafer level packaging, or InFO WLP for short.
The chip will also presumably include a next-generation M11 coprocessor and neural engine for artificial intelligence tasks, such as processing facial recognition given rumors about Face ID on 2018 iPad Pro models.
The eight-core processor should unsurprisingly result in CPU performance improvements on next-generation iPad Pro models.
Apple's current 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models have an A10X Fusion chip based on TSCM's 10nm fabrication process.
In addition to gaining Face ID, next-generation iPad Pro models are expected to have an iPhone X form factor with slimmer bezels and no Home button. However, the tablets will reportedly continue to have LCD displays due to yield rates.