For the past several weeks, rumors have been swirling about an Apple event taking place in March. There are many product lines that are due for a refresh and a few leaked devices that have yet to be officially unveiled, but earlier this week, a DigiTimes report claimed that Apple wouldn’t launch a new iPad Pro until at least the second quarter of 2021, which begins on April 1st. As the iPad Pro would likely have been the headliner of the spring event, the rumored date of March 23rd was seeming less likely. Bloomberg then published an iPad Pro report of its own.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is planning to reveal a new iPad Pro model no earlier than April. His sources say that the new model will have a better processor and improved cameras, but will feature the same design as the current iPad Pro models, which feature 11-inch and 12.9-inch displays.
While the new iPad Pro might not get a redesign, it will be a pronounced upgrade over its predecessors. Sources say that the 2021 iPad Pro models will each “have an updated processor that is on par with the faster M1 chip in the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini.” There was speculation that Apple would roll out the A14X alongside a new iPad Pro, and it sounds like it could be a massive leap over the A12Z Bionic. Plus, there is a chance that at least the 12.9-inch model will have a Mini-LED screen with improved contrast ratios and brightness.
The Bloomberg report also included some new information about a connectivity upgrade coming to the iPad Pro:
In testing, the new iPad Pros have used a Thunderbolt connector, the same port on the latest Macs with custom Apple processors. The port doesn’t require new chargers, but it would enable connectivity with additional external monitors, hard drives and other peripherals. It’s also faster at syncing data than the USB-C technology used in the current models.
It certainly sounds like an upgrade worthy of a spring showcase, especially if there are more products to announce, but there’s also a chance that Apple repeats its strategy from spring 2020 and simply reveals all of its new hardware with press releases on its website. After all, the company cannot host an in-person event any time soon with COVID still spreading, and it might not be worth recording a full event. Either way, we should find out soon.
Finally, Bloomberg recalls its early reporting that the entry-level iPad will return with “a thinner and lighter design later this year.” There should also be a new iPad mini with smaller bezels to accommodate a larger screen, and sooner or later, Apple is going to have to announce AirTags, which won’t stop popping up in rumors.