iPad Pro 2021: Release date, Leaks & What to expect!
New iPad Pro 2021 release date and price
The new iPad Pro is expected to be revealed in March 2021, just like last year's updates. This date doesn't just make sense with recent history but has been floated by the Japanese news site Macotakara. The newest possible date for this event is March 23, per a vague tweet from leaker Jon Prosser.
March is one of Apple's primary iPad release windows, and the company has launched new iPads in March since 2016. The most recent example was the previous iPad Pro, which added the LiDAR camera and the A12Z Bionic processor.
Expect Apple's pricing for the 11-inch iPad Pro ($750) and 12.9-inch iPad Pro ($999) to stay put. The last two generations of iPad Pro tablets stuck to this pricing and everything we're seeing suggests that will continue.
The introduction of the mid-range iPad Air gives Apple no reason to lower the iPad Pro's price. Similarly, Apple doesn't seem to be adding much to this year's iPad Pro that would give them an excuse to charge more.
What to Expect
Apple has taken some steps in recent years to bring its iPads up to speed with new designs, ditching the Home Buttons, Touch ID, and chins in favor of thinner bezels and a squarer design. That trend is expected to continue with the new iPad Pro, which by all accounts will look almost exactly like the old one.
Leaked renders from January indicate that the new iPad Pro will be all but indistinguishable from the current version. The 11-inch version might be a few millimeters shorter, but that's about it. Oh, and a slightly tweaked speaker grill. The 2021 model is going to be an internal, not an external overhaul for iPad Pro.
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As mentioned, Apple is not making any design changes, and that includes form factor and size. As such, expect two new iPads from Apple, a 12.9-inch version (5th-generation), and an 11-inch version too (2nd-generation), iMore cites.
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This is where it starts to get interesting, as Apple is expected to introduce a mini-LED to iPad with the next iPad Pro. A multitude of rumors indicates Apple has the tech in the pipeline for several products including iPad and Mac. From supply chain guru Ming-Chi Kuo:
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated previous reports that Apple's new iPad Pro will receive a huge display boost thanks to mini-LED technology, perhaps as early as this year.
In a research note seen by iMore, Kuo said that new mini-LED displays will begin mass production in Q4 of 2020 and that it is expected this display will feature in the new iPad Pro.
So what's the deal with mini-LED? As Rene Ritchie explains:
Yeah, mini-LED, not OLED. Because OLED not only still has issues like smearing, off-axis color shifting, pulse-width modulation, burn-in, and consistent brightness, it still has issues with yield and scale, even for phone-sized panels, never mind bigger-than phone-sized panels.
What mini-LED does is use thousands of tiny, 200 micron LEDs, grouped in local dimming zones. That lets them get blacks almost, if not quite, as deep as OLED, and contrast ratios that should be close to, if not full-on OLED-level HDR — high dynamic range.
With any luck, the 2021 iPad Pro will be a massive display upgrade over the current version in terms of quality. One report previously has indicated that mini-LED might only be an option for the larger 12.9-inch iPad.
New iPad Pro 2021 M1 chip
The latest iPad Pro rumor, from the reliable Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, posits that Apple will be packing the new iPad Pro with a processor that's "on par" with the M1 chip in the most recently released Macs, as cited by Tech Radar.
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Deep inside a post from case-maker and render-publisher Pigtou, which mostly focuses on renders of the iPad Pro, there's more chatter of internal upgrades. The post notes the same thing Gurman heard: a possibility we're starting to hear in whispers: the new iPad Pro may rock a version of the Apple Silicon chip seen in the MacBook Air with M1. The company could also just go with an upgraded version of the A12Z chip in the current iPad Pro, and call it the A13Z.
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