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2021 iPad Pro may have M1-like chipset, Thunderbolt port and be launched in April

Apple is seemingly bringing major upgrades to the iPad and that might push the iPad closer to being a laptop.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | March 18, 2021 | Updated 09:17 IST
The iPad Pro is going to bring the Thunderbolt port.

Highlights

  • Apple is said to launch the new iPad Pro models as early as April.
  • The top-end iPad Pro model may have a mini-LED display.
  • The entire 2021 iPad Pro lineup could bring Thunderbolt support.

Apple is highly anticipated to bring major upgrades to the iPad this year. Several rumours have pointed out the iPad 2021 will be the first device from Apple with a mini-LED display, the technology said to replace LCD as manufacturers move closer to OLEDs. Among these rumours, the latest one from Bloomberg has offered some interesting insights. Apple is said to launch new iPad Pro models as early as April, which is about a month later than what was being speculated so far. Moreover, according to the report, there will be new iPad and iPad mini models that may arrive later this year.

The iPad Pro models that are seemingly due for launch in April would feature a Thunderbolt port. If this rumour holds water, this might be the biggest change to the wired connectivity on the iPad. The existing generations of iPad Pro use a USB-C port for charging and connecting to other devices. But, even though USB-C is hailed, it offers limited connectivity options as compared with Thunderbolt. Apple has been using Thunderbolt on its Macs, allowing for data transfers and display sharing at exceptionally high speeds. Using Thunderbolt on an iPad Pro would bring connectivity with additional external monitors and other peripherals while data syncing is going to be faster than on a USB-C port.

The iPad Pro is also said to bring upgraded performance and camera capabilities. Although a lot is not clear about how the performance will be better on the upcoming iPad Pro, it is rumoured that the iPad Pro will have an M1-like chipset inside. Moreover, the report has corroborated there will be a mini-LED display on the high-end model. Much like the existing iPad Pro models, the ones being planned for launch in April will also have 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen size variants. The details of the cameras are also not known but Apple is likely to bring iPhone-level performance on the iPad.

The report has further noted that Apple is working on a thinner and lighter version of the entry-level iPad in 2021. The iPad this year is said to come with the same 10.2-inch display as the one on the eighth-generation model but the overall footprint is going to be thinner and lighter. It is expected the ninth-generation iPad may bear a resemblance to the iPad Air 3.

Then, Apple may also introduce a new iPad mini as early as this year, according to the report. The iPad mini may bring some important changes, such as a bigger 7.9-inch display. However, some previous reports have pointed out the upcoming iPad mini may feature an 8.4-inch display with thin bezels. This model of the iPad mini is also rumoured to come with a Home button with Touch ID and Lightning port. These changes account for the gap between the iPad mini models. The last iPad mini was launched in 2019 with Apple's A12 Bionic processor and other improved hardware.

For now, there is nothing concrete about when Apple will launch its new iPad models but there is a speculation an event is going to be held soon.

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