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More Reports of 2021 Apple Devices are Trickling in from the Supply Chain

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Information from the supply chain is starting to flow as we get closer to new Apple devices going into production. There was a bit more today from a couple of usual suspects covering a couple of different iPads and the Mac.

First off we have Digitimes weighing in with a report on some of the new miniLED devices coming in 2021. We already know all about the 12.9″ iPad Pro, but they have a little more to say about two other devices.

The sources expect that Apple’s 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros and 16-inch MacBook Pro set to be released in 2021 will be equipped with miniLED displays and adoption of miniLED will be expanded to its MacBook Air products in 2022.

A new 16″ MacBook Pro is fairly expected. There was a report yesterday that Apple will wait until 2022 to release a new MacBook Air with miniLED, so that’s likely out. The 16″ is also due an upgrade to the new M-series processors as well, so this rumor lines up all around.

The more interesting bit for me is Digitimes’ brief mention of an 11″ iPad Pro. Up until this quote, all rumors of miniLED iPad Pro have been exclusively focused on the 12.9. No timeframe other than 2021 is mentioned here, so they may not be released at the same time, which could still line up with earlier reports focused on one device. It’s still good to see a prediction that the 11″ Pro will get a miniLED upgrade this year and I hope it proves to be correct.

The third bit of info comes courtesy of a source that’s a bit more hit and miss, but still worth keeping an eye on. Makotakara reported that the base model iPad may get an upgrade this year after all. That would shoot down one of my predictions that I made last week.

I figured Apple might stand pat after giving the iPad a spec bump last fall, but what Macotakara proposes actually makes a lot of sense. They are reporting that the iPad will retain the 10.2″ screen, but that the body will be moved to the slimmer iPad Air 3/2018 10.5″ iPad Pro design. I could see this, as Apple has all of the production lines and machinery to keep producing this form factor at a low cost. It’s a noticeable update to the design that won’t impact the iPad’s price. It sounds like a smart move to me. So much so that I’m kicking myself for not thinking of it myself and putting it in my predictions article.

If Macotakara is correct, then I may have struck out twice in this year’s predictions. I also said that Apple would give the 2021 iPad Pros a modest design refresh. However, this report disagrees, saying that the design will remain the same for the third time since 2018. We shall see.

Apple’s 2021 product lineup is quickly coming into focus. As usual, the more the same information is repeated by supply chain sources, the more chance there is that it’s at least partially correct. We are definitely seeing repetition when it comes to miniLED devices and Digitimes’ report just added more to the pile. It will be interesting to see if Macotokara’s iPad information also gains steam. I’m sure there will be plenty more reports like these over the next few weeks.

James Rogers

I am a Christian husband and father of 3 living in the Southeastern US. I have worked as a programmer and project manager in the Commercial and Industrial Automation industry for over 19 years, so I am hands on with technology almost every day. However, my passion in technology is for mobile devices, specifically Apple's iOS and iPadOS hardware and software. My favorite is still the iPad.

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2 thoughts on “More Reports of 2021 Apple Devices are Trickling in from the Supply Chain”

  1. Hello James,

    I wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year. What’s your opinion regarding true extended monitor support on the iPad Pro (or any other iPad)? I much prefer using iPadOS vs. MacOS, but the lack of true extended monitor support is extremely limiting. I’m a bit concerned that Apple may decide to never give the iPad extended monitor support to maintain delineation between the iPad and Mac? What’s your take?


    1. I can’t deny that the line between iPadOS keeps shifting. First it was iPadOS getting all of the new features in iPadOS 13. Then we had a really modest update in 2020 and the Mac got a new overhaul and the M1.

      Right now, my theory is that COVID caused lots of delays in both products and software development and finishing macOS, the M1 rollout and all of last year’s hardware was the priority. I think we will get another big update with iPadOS 15 that will include real multi-monitor support, as well as more flexibility with widgets. We will find out if I’m right when WWDC rolls around.

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