New iPad Pro: News, Price, Release Date, Specs, and Rumors

Expect an LED display and 5G support

Renders of the new 12.9 inch 2021 iPad Pro
A render of the expected 2021 iPad Pro.

Pigtou

An upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro is coming this year. Several changes are expected in the 5th gen models, like a mini-LED display, 5G, and beefier internals.

When Will the 2021 iPad Pro Be Released?

Rumors of a third-quarter release have been circulating since late 2019. As we get into the year, upgraded speculations say the first half of 2021, some claiming as early as the first quarter with a March release.

Lifewire’s Release Date Estimate

Our best guess is H2 2021. Looking back, the 3rd gen iPad Pro arrived 16 months after the previous one, and the 4th gen another 16 months later. Using that as a rough timeline would put the new iPad release between mid-July and mid-October. Some, like ETNews, estimate a release in the first quarter, but Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says otherwise (at least for a March 2021 Apple event).

2021 iPad Pro Price Rumors

The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $999. What Apple will charge for the 2021 models depends on the hardware changes they'll make. We think it will be around the same price, if not slightly cheaper.

If the rumors are true (and they probably are), then mini-LED displays will be used, which could drive the price down a bit. However, we might also see greater storage capacity and more RAM, bringing it back up.

Pre-Order Information

Previous iPad Pros were released a week after their official announcements. Whenever that may be for this upcoming tablet, you can expect shipments to arrive that same month, with preorders shortly after the official announcement.

The Latest News About the 2021 iPad Pro

You can get more Apple-related content from Lifewire; below are some other news stories and rumors regarding the new iPad Pro:

2021 iPad Pro Features

Here's everything we're expecting to see in the new iPad Pro:

  • Hardware boost: The 4th gen iPad Pro includes the A12Z chip, so the popular assumption is that the 2021 version will come with an upgraded form of the chip that’s in the iPad Air and iPhone 12, like A14X. This will improve battery life and bring better performance for things like gaming and multitasking.
  • 5G support: All previous models have had both Wi-Fi and cellular options. This will be true for this year’s release, too, but we can’t dismiss the possibility of 5G support. With the fifth-gen mobile network spreading worldwide, it’s conceivable that Apple will let this new tablet reap some of those speed benefits. The iPhone 12 has it, so why not?
  • More RAM and storage: The lower-end 2020 model doubled its storage capacity (64 GB to 128 GB), so we could see the same thing this year. If true, that would mean that the smallest amount of hard drive space you’d get in the 2021 iPad Pro is 256 GB. Of course, this is yet to be proven and could very well start at 128 GB again, but it isn’t a wild assumption and would maybe even boost the higher-end model into the 2 TB range—plenty of storage for all your games and movies.
  • Mini-LED display: The new iPad’s display is expected to use the less-expensive and more energy-efficient mini-LED technology. According to TrendForce, the new display will be equipped with around 10,000 mini-LED chips as its backlight source. This means better contrast, darker blacks, and brighter brights.
  • Under-display fingerprint sensor: Apple has used Face ID with its more recent phones, so don't have high hopes for this. However, we've heard that it's coming to the iPhone 13, and nobody can deny that when you can't scan your face to unlock your phone, entering a PIN isn't as smooth as simply running your finger over a sensor. Embedding it into the display isn't a new idea, so you never know.
  • iPadOS 14: This isn’t new, so you’re probably already familiar with it and won’t have to learn much of anything new. It was released to the public in September 2020. The new iPad will be able to run iPadOS 15 when it comes out, but the preview of that OS isn’t expected until this summer. You can learn more about iPadOS 14 to see all of its features.
  • Foldable screen: This isn't as solid as these other speculations, but in 2019, IHS Markit's analyst Jeff Lin claimed that Apple was/is working on a foldable iPad with 5G. Given that the latter part is likely true, the foldable screen might be as well, but take it with a grain of salt.

2021 iPad Pro Specs and Hardware

It’s too early to confirm what it will look like, but here’s a rendered look based on some leaked drawings. There's also a mention of magnetic connectors at the top and bottom edges.

Below is a look at the iPad Pro 2021 specs according to all the current rumors. This table will be updated as we know more.

iPad Pro 2021 Rumored Specs
Finish: Silver, Space Gray
Capacity: 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
Display: 12.9"; mini-LED; fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
Chip: A14X Bionic chip
Camera: Wide: 12MP
Ultra Wide: 10MP
2x optical zoom out; digital zoom up to 5x
Panorama up to 63MP
Autofocus with Focus Pixels
Exposure control
Noise reduction
Auto image stabilization
Burst and timer mode
HEIF and JPEG image formats
Video Recording: 4K recording at 24, 30, or 60 fps
1080p HD recording at 30 or 60 fps
70p HD recording at 30 fps
Slo-mo support for 1080p at 120 or 240 fps
Cinematic video stabilization (1080p and 720p)
Playback zoom
HEVC and H.264 video formats
Speakers: Four speaker audio
Microphones: Five mics for calls and video/audio recording
Cellular and Wireless: 5G (sub‑6 GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit LTE
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.0
SIM Card: Nano-SIM; eSIM
Location: Digital compass; Wi‑Fi; Cellular; iBeacon microlocation
Sensors: Face ID; LiDAR Scanner; Three-axis gyro; Accelerometer; Barometer; Ambient light sensor
Face ID: Enabled by TrueDepth camera for facial recognition; Unlock iPad; Secure personal data within apps; Make purchases from the iTunes Store, App Store, and Apple Books
Charging and Expansion: USB-C
Power and Battery: Built-in 36.71-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery; Charging via power adapter or USB-C to computer system
Was this page helpful?