One of Ming-Chi Kuo’s specialties is giving us a longer-term view of Apple products based on early looks at new designs and possibly even experimental prototypes as they move into the overseas supply chain. We’ve heard from him about devices well ahead of their appearance in the everyday tech rumor mill before and now he’s back with his latest prediction.
After delays and chip shortages, the new iPad Pro is finally getting close. If you aren’t aware, preorders begin later this morning at 5 AM Pacific (6 AM Mountain, 7 AM Central, 8 AM Eastern). Thanks to that chip shortage, supplies will likely be short so be ready to roll right when the fun begins or you will likely have have a long wait ahead.
Apple’s iPad business has been nothing short of rock solid the last few years, but the last two quarters have really been something. Yesterday’s quarterly results report was expected to be good, but the reality was better than anyone outside Cupertino expected.
There has been a lot of talk about what Apple is doing with the iPad Pro and how they should proceed with the development of both the hardware and software since the latest models were announced last week. Whether they did it intentionally or not, Apple stoked this fire when they chose to use the M1 branding for the new iPad Pro’s processor. This move naturally linked the new Pro with their successful M1 Macs released late last year and got people talking about the limitations that still hold the iPad Pro back in various ways.
Yes, even as a big fan of iPadOS and Apple’s tablets, I can admit that there are still a number of limitations, especially when contrasted with the power of recent iPad Pro models.
Keyboard cases used to be one of the most popular third party accessory categories for Apple tablets. From 2011 to 2017, this was a booming field with several companies like Belkin, Logitech and ZAGG offering strong alternatives for all models of iPad.
However, they haven’t taken off quite the same way for the iPad Pro, as Apple introduced the Smart Connector and its own keyboard product in the Smart Keyboard. There were at least a few third party options for the first two generations of the iPad Pro, but new models became scarce after Apple’s major redesign came in 2018. Other than a couple of options from Logitech and Brydge, the well seemed to dry up for newer iPad Pros.
I guess this falls under Apple not being able to see into the future. That, or maybe they just have a cynical view of how it relates to products. Either way, according to a report from French site iGeneration (via 9to5Mac), Apple’s current 12.9″ Magic Keyboards that were released just over a year ago will not fit the just-announced 2021 12.9″ iPad Pro. That’s not the news I was looking for today.
Most Apple fans have expected this year’s iPad Pro to be a powerhouse for a while now. Last year’s model only got the tiniest of spec bumps and processing upgrades, so it made sense that Apple would include its latest and greatest in this new tablet. However, when they chose to call the new processor M1 rather than A14X, the conversation around the iPad Pro took a turn.
Apple saved the best for last at today’s Spring Forward event, taking the wraps off their newest iPad with an insane intro video featuring Tim Cook doing his best Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible impression. However, what came after that video was an even better show.
After a long wait, we are finally on the doorstep of Apple’s first event of 2021, which will include the announcement of (and hopefully pre-order for) their latest update to the iPad Pro. There are a couple of changes to this year’s model beyond the MiniLED screen and spec bumps that you may want to be aware of before said pre-orders open up.
A rumor has been making the rounds over the last month and a half that a new refresh of the 2nd gen Apple Pencil design is coming. likely next week. I’m all for that, as it should provide a spec bump and also a feature or two we’ve seen described in patent applications over the last couple of years. However, there’s one aspect of these rumors I’m not as excited about.