There's trouble on the horizon for Apple's MiniLED iPad Pro (2021)

There's trouble on the horizon for Apple's MiniLED iPad Pro (2021)
At one point expected out as early as last fall, Apple's next-gen iPad Pros are still not official more than a year after the formal announcement and commercial release of the company's previous 11 and 12.9-inch powerhouses.

Widely rumored for a March launch, the iPad Pro (2021) duo may have been postponed at the last minute for unknown reasons, now looking pretty much guaranteed for an official debut by the end of this month.

While the latest Bloomberg report largely corroborates that theory, indeed calling for an announcement of "updated iPad Pro tablets in two sizes as early as this month", one model might not be very easy to come by right away.

Yet another production issue is rearing its ugly head

As if Apple didn't have enough trouble trying to contain the global chip crisis that's reportedly hitting many other tech giants much harder, it appears that the highly anticipated MiniLED display might be posing a different set of problems of its own.

For those who've missed all the dozens of previous reports and rumors previewing this potentially groundbreaking technology, Apple is basically gunning for improved contrast ratios and enhanced overall brightness. But that's obviously not as easy as it sounds, which is probably why the company decided early on to implement a MiniLED screen on 2021's 12.9-inch iPad Pro only.

Unfortunately, that's purportedly not enough to avoid "short initial supplies" of said next-gen giant, which could in turn lead to delayed shipments for early adopters. Although Bloomberg's sources are not ready to talk numbers just yet, it sure sounds like Apple won't be able to meet demand for this particular size for weeks, possibly even months after the late April announcement.

To 5G or not to 5G?

That, our friends, is the big question on the lips of so many speed junkies right now, and alas, we still don't have a definitive answer to offer you. Of course, silence can be an answer too, and the fact Bloomberg's report lacks any mention about an optional 5G-enabled iPad Pro (2021) variant is certainly... not very encouraging.

But 5G is clearly the future of mobile connectivity, tablet market included, and with Samsung seemingly preparing to add support for the next cellular standard to a mid-range slate, Apple may not want to be left so far behind an increasingly dangerous rival.

Overall, there's a strong possibility that both the (optional) 5G speeds and MiniLED display technology will be exclusive to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021), leaving the 11-inch model with a new processor (duh) and a faster USB-C port supporting a wider range of accessories and external monitors as the main expected upgrades.

While the 5nm-based A14X chip could well bring the new iPad Pro generation on par with the universally praised M1-powered Mac lineup from a raw power perspective, the far too familiar design may put off a number of prospective buyers.

If you're part of that group, it's probably a good idea to check out our comprehensive iPad 2020 buying guide, which obviously holds up today in the absence of any new models, choose the right device that fits your needs and keep your ear to the ground for some inevitably sweet deals and hefty discounts that are about to drop in the next few weeks. Alternatively, you can look over this similarly rigorous list of the best tablets to buy, including both Android and iPad options.

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