New Case Supports Rumors of Imminent 9.7-Inch iPad Pro With Smart Connector

Less than two weeks before Apple’s rumored March 21 media event, where the company is expected to announce a new 9.7-inch iPad, more aftermarket cases for the iPad Air 2 successor have appeared on Chinese commerce website Alibaba.

The case below, like others before it, has openings for a Smart Connector, four speakers, and a LED camera flash, lending credence to rumors claiming the tablet once tentatively referred to as “iPad Air 3” will instead be a miniaturized iPad Pro.

9.7-inch-iPad-Pro-case

A dummy insert provides a closer look at how the ports could be aligned on the new iPad, including a power button, 3.5mm headphone jack, and two speakers on the top; Lightning connector and two speakers on the bottom; volume buttons and a microphone on the right side; and a Smart Connector on the left side.

Multiple reports have claimed the new 9.7-inch iPad will have a faster A9X processor, Smart Connector, four speakers, and a LED flash, while a sketchier rumor from DigiTimes said the tablet could have a 4K display and up to 4GB of RAM. The tablet is expected to have both Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support.

9.7-inch-iPad-Pro-case-2
Apple is expected to issue press invites soon for its March 21 event, where a new 4-inch “iPhone SE” and minor Apple Watch updates are also anticipated. There is also a slim possibility that refreshed Macs could be announced at the event, as the time is right for updates, but there have been no rumors confirming that is the case.

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