Leaked iPad Pro (2021) renders hint at familiar design, 5G on 12.9-inch model

Leaked iPad Pro (2021) renders hint at familiar design, 5G on 12.9-inch model
UPDATE: David Kowalski has now shared CAD-based renders of the upcoming 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021) models in partnership with Pigtou. The updated story continues below.


The iPad Pro (2021) made its debut last March. Past launch timelines show that Apple unveils new Pro-branded tablets around 18 months after the last models, so the next-gen iPad Pro theoretically shouldn't debut until at least October 2021. 

But rumor has it that Apple is switching things up with its next model lineup. The iPad Pro (2021) could arrive as soon as this March, and a bunch of CAD-based renders now reveal what each model will look like.

The iPad Pro (2021) looks a lot like the iPad Pro (2020)

The leaked 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro CAD renders, shared via Pigtou, corroborate Apple's plans to introduce only minimal design changes with its next-generation iPad Pro lineup and instead focus on the internals.

The square-shaped camera bump that debuted on last year's tablets continues to be included on the rear and houses the same layout of sensors. Customers can, therefore, expect a main camera, an ultra-wide shooter, and a LiDAR sensor. Whether the sensors themselves will be upgraded or not remains to be seen. 

Apple's familiar all-screen design can be seen when the tablets are turned over. This was first introduced on the iPad Pro (2018) series and, despite rumors about slimmer bezels, is unlikely to receive any major improvements this time around.

The 11-inch iPad Pro (2021) was initially said to be a little smaller than its iPad Pro (2020) counterpart, but more accurate CAD-based renders now suggest there'll be no difference in size. In terms of numbers the 11-inch iPad Pro (2021) measures in at 245.7 x 176.6 x 5.9mm, which are the exact same dimensions as the 11-inch iPad Pro (2020). 

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021), on the other hand, stands at 280.6 x 215 x 6.4mm, which is almost identical to the 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm dimensions of last year's 12.9-inch model. If Apple is switching over to mini-LED tech on the display as rumored, it won't enable any design upgrades. 

Expect Face ID, quad-speakers, and a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 5G model

Sandwiched between the front and rear panels is the usual quad-speaker system. The aluminum frame is also home to the magnetic Apple Pencil charging area on the side and a USB-C port on the bottom for charging the tablet itself and data transfers. 

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A power button sits on top of the tablet but it's unclear whether Apple has plans to integrate Touch ID into it, as it did with the iPad Air 4. Either way, the presence of Face ID is almost guaranteed. 

Rounding out the external package are Apple's magnetic pins for the Smart Keyboard. Similar pins can be spotted on the top and bottom of the tablet of the 12.9-inch model, near the speakers, but there's a good chance these are disguised antenna bands that enable 5G mmWave tech. That lines up with rumors of a 5G 12.9-inch iPad Pro model. 

Apple iPad Pro (2021) announcement date and features

The 2021 iPad Pro series should make its official debut at a pre-recorded Apple event in March, where it could be accompanied by a second-generation AirPods Pro and possibly a third-generation iPhone SE.

Apple’s next-gen iPad Pro tablets are expected to ship with the upcoming A14X Bionic inside, which should offer a massive performance bump over the existing A12Z Bionic chipset.

As standard, the tablets should ship with Wi-Fi connectivity. But if you’re interested, more expensive 4G LTE models and an additional 5G variant of the 12.9-inch table with support for both Sub-6GHz and mmWave networks are expected this time around.

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