Apple launched three new iPads in 2017, in 9.7in, 10.5in and 12.9in sizes. (We discuss their respective merits in our iPad buying guide.) But our thoughts are already turning to 2018.

In this article we gather the rumours about the new iPads we'll see next year, covering their specs, features, pricing and release date.

If you're interested in smaller tablets, take a look at our iPad Pro mini rumour roundup, and for buying tips check out our guide to the best cheap iPad deals. Main illustration by Martin Hajek.

New iPad Pro 2 release date, price and specs

Release date

The most recent iPad Pro models were announced at WWDC 2017 on 5 June 2017 and are available to buy now. It's reasonable to expect more announcements at WWDC 2018 next summer, but we're hopeful that Apple will have more news at its customary spring press event: perhaps the iPad mini 5.

Sources quoted by Bloomberg predict, in fact, that the new iPads will be released "a little more than a year after the last major iPad Pro upgrade", which suggests a late summer, early autumn timeframe - perhaps August or September 2018.

UK price

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro starts at £619 for the 64GB with Wi-Fi model and £749 for the 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model; while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at £769 for the 64GB Wi-Fi model and £899 for the 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

You can order the new iPad Pro models here.

Apple bumped up the prices in the UK as the pound weakened following the Brexit referendum result, and we fear that prices may rise again - if the pound continues to struggle, or if Apple decides to bring in an iPhone X-esque edge-to-edge screen, or both.

Design

Apple is expected to bring across some of the design changes from the iPhone X to the iPad line-up in 2018.

Bloomberg's sources expect "at least one" new iPad model to ditch the Home button and go for an edge-to-edge screen, replacing Touch ID with Face ID. The sources suggests that this model will have a screen size that's close the currently offered 10.5in, but removing the Home button will enable Apple to push this closer to 11in, or keep it the same size while shrinking the chassis.

The sources don't expect this screen to be OLED, however. They don't say why not, but after the production difficulties (and supply shortages) that the iPhone X's OLED screen seemingly caused, the company may be shy of going all-in on the technology just yet.

New iPad Pro 2 release date, price and specs

Concept illustrations

It's too early to expect any leaked photos or factory shots, but we're seeing the first concept illustrations of the 2018 iPads. Remember that these are entirely unofficial: they're designs that people unconnected to Apple have come up with as a way of visualising the most popular rumours.

Here are some images from the ever-creative Martin Hajek, who has gone for an edge-to-edge, Home-button-free, notched-screen design for the next iPad Pro model. He's also chucked in a smart new Apple Pencil that looks great in black and silver.

New iPad Pro 2018 release date, price & specs: Concept illustration by Martin Hajek

New iPad Pro 2018 release date, price & specs: Concept illustration by Martin Hajek

Tech specs and new features

Let's look next at the internal changes in the new iPads.

Processor

iPad Pro models generally include a modified version of the processor in the preceding iPhone - last time around the iPhone 7 came out with an A10 Fusion chip, and the iPads got an A10X Fusion.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone X both come with the A11 Bionic processor, so we'd expect the iPad Pro models released in 2018 to feature a slightly souped-up A11X Bionic - although the A11 is terrifically fast already.

New iPad Pro 2 release date, price and specs