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.
First off, the 12.9″ version of the iPad Pro is literally getting a little bigger this year. According to MacRumors, a source is reporting to them that the 12.9″ version will be 0.5 millimeters thicker. This is the second report of increased thickness, with the first coming from MacOtakara back in February. That lends a little extra credibility to this news.
Thankfully, 0.5 mm is a tiny change, so most of us won’t even notice the difference. This change also comes for good reason- it’s to accommodate the addition of MiniLED to the new Pros. This actually isn’t a new thing for the iPad either, as the iPad 3 had an even more noticeable size increase to accommodate the first Retina Display on an Apple tablet.
Thankfully, this change shouldn’t have too much of an impact when it comes to using an iPad Pro. There will likely be some cases that fit a 2020 model snugly but won’t quite work with the new version. That will just be a case-by-case thing (I couldn’t resist). However, cases that don’t snap completely over the iPad Pro should still fit the new model. I’m hoping that Apple’s Magic Keyboard will still fit just fine. We haven’t heard many rumors of new models of the iPad Pro keyboard accessory coming, so I’m taking that as a good sign.
An extra 0.5 mm isn’t so bad. The bigger change to the iPad Pro could be a bigger price tag. According to Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives (via 9to5Mac). the price of both new iPad Pros will see a “modest increase.” Considering that the Pros already come in at $799 and $999, any increase is going to be pushing it, even if it does come with new features. This could get some iPad Pro users to consider downshifting to the Air, as close as it is to the 11″ version feature-wise.
As for me, I’ll pay this year’s version of the Apple Tax to get the latest and greatest. However, I’m not going to pretend to be happy about it, assuming this report is true. My issue is this- the march of technology is constant, but pricing for devices of the same type, size and feature class usually remains the same or decreases over time as newer technologies become easier to produce and component prices decrease. However, I can’t help but notice that Apple has been finding ways to raise its premium prices over the last few years. The top-tier iPhones have gone up and the iPad Pros have increased a couple of times now.
It would be one thing if Apple tended to eventually relax those price increases after a year or two. Unfortunately, they typically continue to charge the higher prices after the efficiency brings their production prices down for the same basic designs. It would be nice to see Apple pass some of these savings back to their loyal customers at some point. We all know they can afford to do this to a reasonable degree.
Like I said, 0.5 mm of added thickness and a few extra bucks won’t keep me from getting the latest iPad Pro, even if the later is irritating. How about you? Is a tiny amount of extra thickness an issue? What about a price increase? How much more will be too much to keep you from making the jump? Let me know what you think in the Comments section below or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.
Oh, and Happy Apple Event Day tomorrow!