Tech

Apple is expected to announce a new iPad Pro next month

With a more powerful processor and a Thunderbolt port for charging.

Apple's Tim Cook introduces the new IPad Pro during s media event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Wednesday morning, Sept. 9, 2015, in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)
MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images

Apple has plans to introduce a new lineup of iPads as soon as April, according to people familiar with the matter. Bloomberg reports that the 2021 iPad lineup will include more powerful processors and improved cameras, among other upgrades to not just the Pro, but the iPad mini, too.

The iPad Pro will receive the most significant overhaul of the bunch, with an updated processor that’s “on par with” the M1 chips included in the latest MacBooks. It’ll look very similar to the existing iPad Pro and come with the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes. The larger screen option could use a Mini-LED screen with an improved contrast ratio and the ability to achieve a higher max brightness.

Apple hasn’t telegraphed any iPad refresh just yet, and an Apple spokesperson declined to comment when Bloomberg made inquiries. Unlike rival Samsung, Apple has never been one to show its hand more than necessary in the lead-up to new product announcements. But, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors of new iPads dropping in the next month or so, and going on Apple’s usual update timetable, refreshes are due.

iPad Pro Pro — Details of the new iPads are scarce. The sources in Bloomberg’s report say Apple isn’t changing much at all about the iPad Pro’s exterior, though that Mini-LED screen could change the display significantly. They add the new iPad Pro may come equipped with a Thunderbolt port, rather than the generic USB-C connector used in the current-gen model. It hasn’t been all that long since Apple updated the iPad Pro — the latest version was released in March 2020 — so internal are about all we’d expect this year.

A new baseline, too — Not everyone is looking to buy a tablet that’s more powerful than their laptop. Apple knows this, so it’s not leaving the base iPad models behind in this year’s refresh.

The low-tier iPad won’t be updated until later this year, though, according to Bloomberg’s sources. That release could come along with a new iPad Mini with a slightly larger screen than the current 7.9-inch model.

Corroborating evidence? — This tune sounds… familiar. We’ve heard rumors of an updated iPad Pro coming very soon before — oh, right, along with the idea that Apple might host its first event of 2021 on March 23. The new iPad Pro was expected to be announced at that event. Now we’re only days away from that date, though, so it’s looking like we might be waiting a little longer for updates on the tech giant’s forthcoming tablet lineup.

Whenever the iPad announcement is made official, it’s likely we’ll see the third-generation AirPods and AirTags, too.