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The most exciting new iPad Pro might be hard to find at launch

Updated May 21st, 2021 9:43AM EDT
iPad Pro 2021
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple is widely expected to launch several new products this month, including a new iPad Pro generation. Apple’s flagship tablet will still come in two versions, both of them receiving a few significant upgrades over their predecessors. But the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is expected to get an exclusive feature, a mini-LED display unlike anything seen on previous iPads. The 11-inch iPad Pro should have the same LCD screen as its direct predecessor.

Apple should soon announce the iPad Pro and other products, although a virtual launch event seems out of the question. Rumors said that Apple had a press event prepared for March, but the press invites were never sent. Speculation followed that Apple would host its spring event in April, but Apple is yet to announce it. Regardless of how Apple ends up launching the iPad Pro, a new report delivers some bad news about the initial supply. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro might be hard to find initially, as Apple deals with certain supply issues.

A report from Asia said last week that Apple was forced to delay some iPad and MacBook manufacturing because of the current chip shortage. The report did not specify which models were impacted and whether the delays will affect other 2021 iPad and MacBook launches. Apple should also update other iPad versions this year and launch new MacBooks with M-series processors.

Silicon shortages aside, Apple is dealing with a separate mini-LED problem for the 2021 iPad Pro, according to Bloomberg. These production issues could lead to supply constraints at launch or delayed shipping for the larger tablet.

The report notes that Apple wants to launch the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and showcase the mini-LED display tech during the second half of April, without offering an actual launch date.

People familiar with the matter informed Bloomberg that mini-LED suppliers are facing poor manufacturing yields. At least one display maker had to pause production. The report notes that three Taiwan-based suppliers are among the key companies making mini-LED screens for Apple, including Ennostar, General Interface Solution, and Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology.

The mini-LED display will bring over a few notable features to the iPad, including better contrast ratios and improved brightness. According to previous reports, mini-LED screens should deliver a visual experience similar to OLED panels in the iPhone.

Both the 12.9-inch and 11-inch 2021 iPad Pros will deliver similar specs improvements. The report says that Apple plans to add a much faster processor to the iPad Pro line, on par with the M1 chip powering various Macs. The iPad Pro’s purported A14X chip leaked recently. Additionally, the USB-C port will support faster speeds, and it’ll be compatible with a broader range of accessories and monitors. Finally, then new tablets should sport improved cameras.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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