Apple may release new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros as early as April, according to Bloomberg report. The 12.9-inch model could feature a new mini LED display, though both reportedly pack Thunderbolt 3 ports and processors “on par” with the Mac’s M1 chip. A new, larger iPad Mini could also launch this year.
The new iPad Pros are expected to reuse the 2020 iPad Pro design, with its thin bezels, flat edges, and large camera bump. Still, reports suggest that the tablets will feature updated cameras and M1-grade processors. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro could also feature an updated mini LED display, which should improve image quality and battery life while avoiding the burn-in problems that are common with OLED panels. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the company plans to replace the LCD panels in lower-end iPads with OLED panels, though it’s unclear if the rumored 11-inch iPad will sport an OLED display.
In its report, Bloomberg suggests that the new iPad Pros will use Thunderbolt 3 ports in place of the usual USB-C ports. This way, you can continue to use USB-C chargers and accessories with your iPad Pro, but with better data transfer rates and support for Thunderbolt 3 accessories, such as external displays. Apple already incorporates Thunderbolt 3 ports in its Macs, and moving the technology to the iPad Pro would make sense, even if some of the cheaper iPads still use Lightning ports.
Apple could also release a new iPad Mini this year with a larger screen. Apple hasn’t updated its smallest tablet since it released the 7.9-inch iPad Mini in 2019, and until then, there hadn’t been a new iPad Mini since 2015. A rumored update to the base-model iPad could also be on the horizon, but details for the new device are scarce, and Apple already updated the standard iPad in September 2020.