12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro (2021) shipments face continued delays

12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro (2021) shipments face continued delays
Even though the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro (2021) has started arriving early to lucky customers, Bloomberg says that there could be delays in production of this particular unit because of problems Apple's supply chain is having producing the screen. This year, Apple decided to use a mini LED display on the 12.9-inch variant of its top tablet line replacing the traditional LCD panel used in the past. The 11-inch version will continue to sport an LCD screen.

Apple's supply chain continues to have problems producing the 12.9-inch mini LED display for the iPad Pro (2021)

The mini LED screen, given the moniker of Liquid Retina XDR display by Apple, delivers vibrant true-to-life colors, outstanding contrast, and a brighter image. But those close to Apple's supply-chain partners say that they are having problems manufacturing enough of the 12.9-inch mini LED displays resulting in continued delays in shipping the larger-screened version of the slate. Orders placed today for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021) have a delivery date with a range of late June through mid July while the 11-inch model should arrive no later than June 3rd.

Apple noted last month that the company will lose $4 billion in revenue during the current quarter thanks to very high demand for its products and the chip shortage that is impacting many different sectors in the tech industry. The iPad has had a rebound in demand thanks to the pandemic as many parents and children have turned to the device to help them handle both work and play while home. Last quarter, iPad revenue amounted to $7.8 billion making it the best fiscal second quarter for iPad sales since 2013.

The iPad Pro (2021) Wi-Fi + Cellular versions support 5G connectivity

Both the 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro (2021) models are powered by Apple's new powerful M1 chip that is manufactured using the 5nm process by TSMC. The M1 carries 16 billion transistors in each chip compared to the 11.8 billion found in the A14 Bionic chipset that powers the iPad Air (2020) and the iPhone 12 series. Benchmark tests show that the M1 powered iPad Pro (2021) tablets are running more than 50% faster than the previous generation models which used the A12Z Bionic chip.

We also should not forget that the Wi-Fi + Cellular version of the iPad Pro (2021) tablets are the first from Apple to feature 5G support. During the calendar first quarter of this year, the iPad remained on top of the tablet industry's shipping standings with 31.7% of the market after shipping 12.7 million units (according to IDC) for the first three months of the year. That was a strong 64.3% year-over-year growth rate.

During the same three month period (which is Apple's fiscal second quarter), the company announced that iPad sales rose from $4.37 billion to $7.81 billion which is a whopping 79% year-over-year increase in revenue. With many states beginning the process of reopening after the pandemic, demand for tablets might start to slow. However, the M1 powered iPad Pro (2021), especially the model with the larger 12.9-inch mini LED display, could help Apple continue to deliver strong growth in iPad sales this year.

Before the pandemic, the tablet market as a whole had been under attack from larger-screened phones. Now, foldable models like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 allow users to have a 6.23-inch smartphone available that can quickly open up to become a 7.6-inch tablet. Still, those who want a larger screen, such as the 11-inch or 12.9-inch displays offered with the iPad Pro (2021), will need to stick to a dedicated tablet device.

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For now, those happy with an 11-inch LCD display can order the smaller-screened iPad Pro (2021) and expect to receive the slate in the opening days of next month. If you must have the largest display that Apple offers (with the new mini LED technology), you can expect to receive the device possibly as late as July. You can find the best iPad for you to buy in our 2021 iPad buying guide.

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