A new article once again predicts something that has been expected for a while now- a new iPad Pro with a miniLED screen is on the way in 2021. If this report is correct, then this new Apple tablet should be here sooner than later.
A brief report from DigiTimes (via MacRumors), which primarily covers a couple of other topics, contains the following quote:
Besides iPhones, GIS will produce integrated touch modules for miniLED-backlit panels of 12.9-inch iPad Pro to be launched in first-quarter 2021, the sources noted.
That’s good news, as the first quarter of 2021 is just around the corner. While a January or February launch would be a bit out of character for Apple, March is not. In fact, March is not only the close of the first quarter, but it’s also a very familiar launch window for the iPad, including the latest iPad Pro versions earlier this year. It’s a bit early, as iPad Pro updates tend to be spaced around 18 months apart. However, I still think a March launch is a realistic possibility.
One interesting tidbit from the quote above that has also appeared in previous rumors of miniLED iPads is that only the 12.9″ version of the iPad Pro is mentioned. I find this a little odd, because even though the 12.9 is the model I prefer, I know that the 11″ version (and 10.5″ version before it) that have always been more popular. The cheaper price tag and more portable form factor have made that smaller version the default iPad Pro for many buyers.
If that is the case, why would Apple bypass the 11″ size when it comes to rolling out miniLED? It could be that Apple is staggering the release of miniLED products as they first roll out and that the larger 12.9″ model makes the best show of the new screen tech. It’s entirely possible that an 11″ version will appear later this year as production of these new screens kicks into high gear.
Another possibility is that Apple is going to make the miniLED screen exclusive to the 12.9″ iPad Pro. On the surface, that doesn’t really make sense if the 11″ Pro is still around. But that begs the question- with the new iPad Air getting most of the Pro features in that same form factor, is there still a need for an 11″ iPad Pro? Maybe Apple intends to let the smaller model fade out and limit the Pro to the larger size going forward.
While this could happen, I personally hope that it doesn’t. A lot of fans of the high-end iPads much prefer the smaller form factor. For those buyers, there is a big difference in the little details that separate the Air and the 11″ Pro. Losing two speaker, ProMotion and Face ID is going to be a non-starter for many of these fans of Apple’s power tablets. In my opinion, removing choice at the top end that doesn’t cost Apple much to maintain would be a mistake.
So hopefully this rumor of a new 12.9″ iPad Pro with miniLED screen coming in the first quarter of 2021 proves to be true. I passed on the 2020 iPad Pros since they were such small updates over my 2018 model, so a newer version with some bigger improvements sounds great. I am ready to buy.
However, I also hope that the miniLED screen that may be limited to the 12.9″ iPad Pro at first will also find it’s way to the 11″ Pro, iPad Air and iPad Mini over the next year and a half, as well. There’s no reason for Apple to hold back on what promises to be a significant upgrade to what are some already excellent tablet screens.
Is a miniLED screen enough to get you interested in a new 12.9″ iPad Pro? Let me know what you think in the Comments section below or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.