New iPad Pro rumors roundup for 2021
26th February, 2021 at 8:16 pm by Liam
- Apple is rumored to release a new iPad Pro sometime in the first half of 2021.
- According to MacRumors, the new Pro model could be announced at an Apple Event in March, potentially alongside AirTags and new AirPods.
- The upcoming iPad Pro may feature a new mini-LED display and include 5G support.
Last summer, rumors of a mini-LED iPad started surfacing online. Since then, newer leaks have provided more details relating to the iPad Pro. These leaks include ones relating to innovative upgrades to its display, processor, mobile connectivity and more.
According to DigiTimes, the Taiwanese manufacturer Ennostar will allegedly commence production of mini-LED displays "at the end of first-quarter 2021 or in the second quarter." Ennostar is a Taiwanese technology firm that manufactures many electronics, such as displays, semiconductors, and chipsets.
From How-To Geek:
Mini-LED is a new display technology that promises improved contrast ratios and deeper blacks compared to LCD panels that are lit with regular LEDs (light-emitting diodes). As the name suggests, mini-LEDs are a lot smaller than regular LEDs. Diodes that are smaller than 0.2 mm are generally classed as mini-LEDs. These are used to light up a regular LCD panel, just as a traditional LED-lit display would. The key difference is that a lot more mini-LEDs are present compared to older displays.
This would be Apple’s debut mini-LED product. An iPad Pro with this kind of advanced display tech and would boast the brightest and most accurate display of any iPad. Further, it would likely be a fierce challenge to Apple’s competitors due to its incredible contrast. If Apple were to announce an iPad Pro with a mini-LED display in March, it wouldn’t be surprising to see that Ennostar is already prepared for it. As for display size, it is unknown if Apple is going to release two iPad Pro models (a 12.9” and an 11”), or just a 12.9” model. So far, rumors have only suggested that the larger model will be announced.
Apple may release a 12.9” iPad Pro with updated specifications and a new mini-LED display alongside an 11” model, with the same specs but a lower-end display. Whatever the case, Apple’s adoption of mini-LED technology is no small feat; it could be indicative of a broader transition to these state-of-the-art screens.
Italian website Pigtou claims that it is likely that the A14 Bionic will be featured in this year's iPad Pro. This is likely because it is normal for Apple to adapt its top-of-the-line mobile chipset from the most recent iPhone for its highest-end iPads. However, Apple has included a rebranded mobile chipset from 2 years prior with tablet-specific modifications (i.e. the A12Z Bionic processor shipped in last years iPad Pro, instead of an A13 based chipset) in the past. Therefore, it is possible that Apple could ship the iPad Pro with an A13X or A13Z processor.
On the other hand, Apple could decide to go the opposite direction and include one of its brand new Apple Silicon M Series chips (announced in its MacBooks and Mac mini last year). The M1 processor boasted outstanding performance and incredible battery life, especially considering the size of the devices it shipped in. Based on Apple’s current marketing, the ‘M’ Series is purely intended for ‘M’ Macs.
However, if Apple were to include an M1 chip in the iPad Pro, the performance, compatibility and battery life would be dramatically improved and cement the iPad’s position as a true computer to be reckoned with. The amount of RAM could also change with the new iPad Pro. Last year's model made the jump for 4GB to 6GB of RAM on all models (except the highest-end model which made the switch in the previous generation), and this trend could continue with the upgrade to 8GB of RAM this year - perhaps only in the higher end models. This would put the iPads on par with other computers in its class and and its price point.
Just last year, Apple unveiled its first 5G iPhones to massive success as reported here. Due to the popularity of 5G, it is likely that Apple will include 5G connectivity support in its new iPad Pro. That would make the iPad Pro Apple’s first 5G tablet and first non-iPhone 5G device. However, adding 5G to the iPad Pro would come at a cost, as mentioned below.
The pricing for the iPad Pro has remained fairly consistent over its lifetime. The first two generation 12.9” models started at $799 USD and could be specced up to $1,229. The next two made the increase to a starting price of $999, and went up to $1,899 and $1,649 for the third and fourth generations, respectively. If the prices increase at the same interval, the iPad Pro would start at $1,299 and the highest end model could cost up to $1,750.
This is a noticeable price increase from the precious generation, but it also comes along with various technological advancements and new features. These are rumored to include an advanced mini-LED display, a best-in-class chipset with blazing fast graphics, storage and RAM to match, plus the addition of 5G network support for an always-connected experience.