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New iPad Pro (2021) release date, price, news, leaks and what we know so far

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
The iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) (Image credit: Future)

The iPad Pro 2020 landed in March of last year, which means a new model could be imminent, and we’ve heard a number of rumors about it.

Below you’ll find everything we’ve heard so far, including information on the possible screen, specs, design and features. And while we don’t know exactly when it will land yet, we’ve also included details of the possible release date and price.

From 5G to a Mini LED screen, there could be a lot of upgrades in the 2021 iPad Pro, so it’s worth reading up on and getting excited about.

Latest news

A report follows other sources in claiming that Apple is planning a Mini LED iPad Pro this year, with an OLED one possibly to follow in 2022. Plus, one source says the new Apple Pencil will look different to previous iterations.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next top-end iPad
  • When is it out? Possibly March
  • How much will it cost? Unclear but definitely a lot

iPad Pro 2021 release date and price

Our best guess for when the iPad Pro 2021 will launch is March, as its predecessor launched in March of 2020. Specifically, it was unveiled on March 18 and went on sale a day later, so we might see something similar this year.

Leaks support that, with two sources claiming that the slate will land in the first quarter of the year, while a third specifically says March. We've also since heard March a second time.

That said, another leak suggests that components for the display may not enter production until the end of March or later, which might mean the tablet doesn't arrive quite by then. Either way though the first half of the year looks very likely.

There’s no news on what the iPad Pro 2021 might cost, but the previous model started at $799 / £769 / AU$1,329 for an 11-inch model, or $999 / £969 / AU$1,649 for a 12.9-inch one, so the iPad Pro 2021 might come in at a similar price.

Display

There’s one rumor that we’ve heard more than any other about the iPad Pro 2021, and that’s that it will have a Mini LED screen.

This is a type of LCD screen, but one that offers improved contrast ratio and color reproduction over standard LCD displays. It’s also less likely to suffer screen burn-in than OLED, which is currently the display type of choice on high-end phones.

We first heard that the iPad Pro 2021 might have a Mini LED display back in April 2020, and that rumor has popped up multiple times since then, with one source saying this display tech will enter production either at the end of the first quarter of 2021 or in the second quarter.

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)

The iPad Pro 2021 could have a better screen than older models (Image credit: Future)

This then, is looking very likely. However one source reckons that while there will apparently be both 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro 2021 models, only the larger of them will use Mini LED. That's a claim we've now heard more than once.

We’ve also heard though that following these Mini LED slates another iPad Pro could land before the end of the year with an OLED screen. Putting out that many iPad Pros in one year though would be an odd move, and other sources have suggested that Mini LED is the end goal rather than a stepping-stone on the road to OLED.

One other source does mention OLED, but suggests that these models won’t land until 2022, which seems more likely if it happens at all. That claim has now been echoed elsewhere too, with a source saying the 2021 iPad Pro will have a Mini LED screen, with Apple considering OLED for 2022.

Design

While there might be significant changes to the display for the iPad Pro 2021, it sounds like the design might not be undergoing such an overhaul.

The renders below may provide a crude look at the design. These were supplied to 91Mobiles by a “trusted source” and show thinner bezels than the iPad Pro 2020 has, along with squared-off edges, a squarish camera module on the back, and a power button on the top edge.

The source also suggests that the slate has quad speakers and a magnetic port to charge the Apple Pencil, just like its predecessor.

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iPad Pro 2021 renders

(Image credit: 91Mobiles)
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iPad Pro 2021 renders

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iPad Pro 2021 renders

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iPad Pro 2021 renders

(Image credit: 91 Mobiles)
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iPad Pro 2021 renders

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iPad Pro 2021 renders

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iPad Pro 2021 renders

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iPad Pro 2021 renders

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iPad Pro 2021 renders

(Image credit: 91Mobiles)
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iPad Pro 2021 renders

(Image credit: 91Mobiles)

So from this it sounds like the design is being tweaked but nothing more, and another source has suggested similar, stating that the lens glass will now be flush with the camera protrusion and that the number of speaker holes has been reduced by two thirds, but that the design will otherwise be similar.

Though they additionally claim that the iPad Pro 12.9 2021 will be 0.5mm thicker than its predecessor, which would make it 6.4mm thick.

Camera, specs and features

We don’t know too much about the iPad Pro 2021’s specs yet, but when it comes to the camera, the renders above show a dual-lens one with a LiDAR scanner, which is in line with the current model.

We’ve also heard that the iPad Pro 2021 might have an A14 Bionic chipset like the iPhone 12 range, and support 5G – which would be a first for Apple’s tablet range.

That said, a more recent leak suggests the iPad Pro 2021 could have an even more powerful chipset - on that's on par with the M1 chip in Apple's latest Macs.

And looking beyond the iPad Pro 2021 itself, Apple might be planning to launch a new Magic Keyboard alongside it.

That theory comes from the existence of several patents for tweaked versions of the device, one of which shows touch-sensitive strips in place of a trackpad, along with a microphone and vibration sensors.

Those sensors would be able to sense gestures made on a surface the iPad was placed on (for example a swipe across a table), and sense the force used to press keyboard buttons, allowing for a different input based on how much pressure was used.

However, as always with patents we’d take these with a pinch of salt, as very often nothing comes of them.

The final leak we've seen so far is on a next-gen Apple Pencil that may be an accessory you can buy alongside the iPad Pro 2021. 

See more

The source - who has been accurate on Apple iPad leaks in the past - includes a photo that shows a glossy Apple Pencil with a longer tip than we've seen on previous stylus from the company.

Exactly why that tip may be longer is currently unclear, but it may be that this is for additional features Apple will announce on the iPad Pro 2021.