Apple's upcoming iPad Pro with mini LED display has been the subject of constant rumor but one detail we've yet to pin down is the tablet's launch date. Sure, "early 2021" has been thrown around but we've heard nothing more specific.
That is, until now. The Japanese Mac blog MacOtakara (with an assist from Google Translate) says Apple plans to launch the next 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models in March. The blog sites "Chinese suppliers" as its source, but as always, one should take this rumor with a healthy dose of skepticism.
If the report is accurate, there are a few other details we can glean about the upcoming tablets. For one, MacOtakara says the iPad Pro 12.9 will have the same design but that there will be fewer speaker holes on the side.
The tablet will be slightly thicker (another 0.5mm) to accommodate the new display, and while the rear camera bump will remain, the actual lens won't protrude as it does on the current models.
One interesting tidbit is that Mini LED panels may only be an option on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro; the 11-inch version will supposedly remain the same size (suggesting it will stick with LED).
While this is all unofficial information, it does align with numerous other reports about the iPad Pro. Late last year Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo amended his previous estimates of the tablet arriving in 2020, indicating that the first mini LED products wouldn't arrive until Q1 of 2021.
Jeff Pu of GF Securities agrees, stating that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be the first mini LED product from Apple when it arrives in Q1 of 2021.
For those who are unfamiliar, Mini LED is a new screen backlighting technology that is visually similar to an OLED display, but offers increased brightness and higher contrast ratio while still remaining power efficient.
If it lives up to the hype, Mini LED could be a smart middle-ground between LED and OLED, providing a much better image than the former while avoiding the risk of burn-in associated with the latter.