New iPad 2021: What We Know so Far

A new year usually means a new iPad from Apple. So, when will the new iPad 2021 be released or is there any new major update? From 5G support to a redesigned display, we have rounded up the latest rumors about the next generation of iPad here.

Design and Display

There are lots of rumors that Apple will change the design of the new iPad model, making it thinner and lighter. This could also mean an upgrade to a 10.5-inch panel for the based model.

Another rumor from a Chinese tech site suggests that Apple will boost the RAM capacity, start with 64GB of storage and adopt the A13 Bionic processor that powers the iPhone 11. This is great news because the 32GB on offer with the current baseline unit is far too small for a tablet.

On top of that, people are hoping for a big change in the 2021 iPad Pro design. Plus, this is also because the only key design updates we see in the iPad Pro 2020 are a new 10MP Ultra-Wide camera and LiDAR depth scanner. Based on the rumors and leaks we’ve found so far, the answer might be somewhere in the middle.

According to some leaked documents, the new iPad Pro will have the same dimensions as the current model with a bit thinner camera bump. Meanwhile, there are also rumors about the new iPad Pro 2021 models getting thinner bezels. Well, if this is the case, then this update will make a lot of fans happy. Also, the new iPad is expected to have a quad-speaker system, rear Smart Connector, dual rear cameras, and Face ID.

However, the 2021 iPad Pro is more likely to look similar to its previous model. But, there will be a shift of components inside the case, even if there is not much of change on the outside. Plus, the 2021 iPad Pro & Air will probably feature fewer speaker holes (about two-thirds of the current number) and in different positions.

2021 iPad Pro Design Revealed in Leaked Images

According to the recently leaked CAD images of the 2021 iPad Pro models, the next iPad will have the same look as its previous model. Also, we can see that Apple has peeled off a few millimeters in both length and width. Meanwhile, the new iPad depth appears to remain unchanged. While it might be possible that Apple has moved the speakers, we are still not certain about this.

David Kowalski, a tech leaker, has used these leaked CAD drawings as the basis for render illustrations of the new iPad. The guy also mentions the mystery magnetic connectors on top and bottom when describing the device.

Additionally, we’re hoping that Apple will add Touch ID back to the iPad Pro for a backup login feature because this is one of the best 2020 iPad Air features. Besides, a few iPad mini 6 leaks suggest that Apple’s not resting on last year’s update. Therefore, the company is likely to give the next iPad mini at least a new outlook. So, this could mean slimmer bezels and no home button for the iPad mini 6.

Specs and New Features

Unfortunately, we only have the A12Z Bionic chip in last year’s iPad Pro. Even though this chip does help to boost the iPad Pro CPU, graphics, and Neural Engine, it’s not even close to the A14. In fact, the chip has proven its potential by making the 2020 iPad Air become Apple’s most powerful tablet. So, there’s no way that Apple will release its new iPad Pro 2021 without the A14 chip inside or an even more powerful variant of it.

Meanwhile, with the huge amount of praise for the M1 chip, it’s entirely possible that Apple can create a slightly less powerful version of the chip for its 2021 iPad Pro.

5G Compatibility

Just like the iPhone 12 lineup, the new iPad Air and Pro could also be the first iPads to feature 5G as a cellular option. But, we believe the Pro model is more likely to get this feature. Overall, this new upgrade will allow users to take advantage of the faster network data services available. As Apple is likely to position the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement, this feature could make it a compelling option on the market.

On top of that, recent posts from some Chinese tech sites have suggested that the iPad mini 6 will feature an A13 processor. This will be a major upgrade from the A12 Bionic chip that powers the iPad mini 5.

Mini-LED displays

It’s expected that Apple will add the new mini-LED technology to its new iPads. This not only makes the 2021 iPad more energy-efficient but also a bit less expensive. Unlike the old OLED displays that can be found in the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, the mini-LED helps users avoid the burn-in issue where the ghost of an image remains on the screen.

Under-screen Touch ID

Despite the convenience and safety of Face ID, some iPad users prefer the tactile nature of Touch ID. Up until now the inclusion of Touch ID on a device always requires a physical button area for the fingerprint sensor. However, some manufacturers like Samsung prove that you can now imbed it underneath the display. So, we expect Apple will adopt this technology and add it to the next iPad Pro. This will help to reduce the bezels or chassis, which creates more screen space without compromising the size of the device.

Folding Display

Folding displays are currently one of the hottest areas in tech. Until now we’ve already seen some devices that feature this technology like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Microsoft Surface Neo. So, we think Apple does not want to get left behind in this folding display race. In fact, the company has been reported to have patented various bending and scrolling displays.

However, a folding display won’t be ready on Apple’s this year iPad lineup, given that Apple needs more time to work on it and the adoption of a folding display will increase the base price for the iPad Pro lineup which is already expensive.

2021 iPad Release Date

Until now, Apple hasn’t shared any concrete information about the 2021 iPad release date. But, a few rumors suggest that Apple plans to update its baseline tablet in the first half of 2021.

Personally, we can still predict that it will be somewhere at the end of spring – based on last year’s iPad Pro launch date (March 25, 2020). Moreover, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, rumors are saying that Apple will still hold another spring event this year. So, we really expect to see the next-generation iPad at this event.

The reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has published a note suggesting that we might see a new iPad Pro at this spring 2021 event. Also, the supply-chain sources cited by the Taiwanese outlet DigiTimes say that large-volume component shipments point to a release in the first three months of 2021. Besides, Jon Prosser (a well-known leaker) has also claimed that the iPad Pro will specifically arrive in March. But still, we suggest keeping your expectations low because iPad release dates are just unpredictable!

Between March and September launches over the past few years, here’s when the most recent models showed up on the market:

  • 2017 iPad (5th gen): March 24, 2017
  • 2018 iPad (6th gen): March 27, 2018
  • 2019 iPad (7th gen): September 25, 2019
  • 2020 iPad (8th gen): September 18, 2020

In addition, there are some sources from Apple’s supply chain that confirmed that the new iPad mini 6 could launch this March. Just like the iPad mini 5 that came out in March 2019, Apple tends to release new iPads during this time, so this would not be a surprise. Overall, if the company sticks to this pattern, then we’ll see the new iPad in stores either this spring or autumn.

Price

Pricing has been reasonably stable when it comes to the entry-level iPad in recent years. So, we expect Apple to keep close to the same prices on its next iPad gen, regardless of any updates. Here are the iPad prices over the last 4 years: iPad 5th gen ($349), iPad 6th gen ($329), iPad 7th gen ($329), and iPad 8th gen ($329). There have been some exceptions that Apple may try to hit a lower price point ($300) in the past. So, if it does, then it would be a great bargain for everyone. Additionally, we think the entry-level model of the new iPad Pro will probably cost around $750-$800 in the US.

Have you heard new rumors about the upcoming iPad? Let us know about it and your thoughts about the new iPad 2021 in the comments!

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