iPad Pro Getting Thicker in 2021 to Fit New Technology

Apple's affinity for thin and light product designs is well-known, so it is not often the case that the company chooses to make its existing products thicker. This year, Apple's largest and most expensive iPad offering, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, is looking to buck the trend and get thicker, according to recent reports.

iPad Pro Mini LED

Alleged factory CAD drawings leaked in January revealed that, as expected, the 2021 ‌iPad‌ Pros will look largely the same as the current models. However, a recent report from Mac Otakara has said that the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ will be about 0.5mm thicker than the current model, placing it around 6.4mm, a change that could be needed to accommodate a mini-LED display.

The ‌iPad Pro‌ has long been rumored to be the first device to get a mini-LED display. Mini-LED displays offer impressive wide color gamut performance, high contrast and HDR, and local dimming, which dims the backlight behind black areas of the screen while keeping bright parts lit for truer blacks and improved contrast.

The rumor of a mini-LED 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ coming in the first half of this year has been heavily corroborated by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, DigiTimes, The Elec, and Korea's ETNews. There has been no mention of an 11-inch model with mini-LED however, with the high-end display technology expected to be kept on the larger ‌iPad Pro‌ model only.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that Apple's mini-LED displays will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, but more recent rumors have contradicted this, saying that mini-LED will make the ‌iPad Pro‌ thicker. There may also be other internal changes contributing to differences in the device thickness, so we'll have to wait to see how it all comes together in the final product.

Mac Otakara also said that the ‌iPad Pro‌'s the rear cameras will protrude less on the upcoming models, likely due to the device's increased thickness. The overall camera bump apparently remains, but the protrusion of the individual camera lenses is no longer required, leaving a flat camera system under one continuous piece of glass.

ipad pro with magic keyboard

The current 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ is 5.9mm thick, so with an increase of 0.5mm taking the device to 6.4mm, it is unclear if the device will still be compatible with Apple's Magic Keyboard accessory.

The Magic Keyboard that was initially designed for the 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌, which is 5.9mm thick, also works for the fourth-generation iPad Air, which is 6.1mm thick. So while it is clear that the accessory can accommodate iPads of slightly different thicknesses, it is unknown if it will be able to handle an ‌iPad‌ that is as much as 0.5mm thicker than the current model. If this is the case, Apple may need to release a new Magic Keyboard accessory for the thicker 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ this year.

The updated 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ is rumored to arrive in the first quarter of this year. For more on what to expect from the 2021 ‌iPad Pro‌, see our "What's Next for iPad Pro" roundup.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Related Forum: iPad

Related Stories

iPad Pro Mini LED

iPad Pro to Be First Apple Device Featuring Breakthrough New Display Technology

Friday January 29, 2021 6:10 am PST by
Apple's 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro is widely expected to be the first Apple device to feature advanced mini-LED display technology, before it expands to other devices throughout 2021 and 2022. Mini-LED displays offer impressive wide color gamut performance, high contrast and HDR, and local dimming, which dims the backlight behind black areas of the screen while keeping bright parts lit for...
maxresdefault

First White Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro Unboxing Surfaces Online

Monday May 17, 2021 5:12 am PDT by
The first unboxing video of the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro in White has surfaced online, giving the first real-world look at what the new all-white accessory is like. YouTube channel "Michaelangelo's Tech" was among a lucky few to get their hands on a Magic Keyboard in White earlier than expected, enabling an early look at the recolored accessory. The YouTuber did not have a 12.9-inch ...
speck 2021 ipad pro image

New 11-Inch iPad Case Found at Target as Rumors Swirl About Upcoming Refresh

Tuesday March 9, 2021 6:36 pm PST by
With rumors swirling about an upcoming iPad Pro refresh, which may be announced as part of an alleged Apple Event on Tuesday, March 23, it appears that at least one accessory maker has already started preparing. A photo shared on Reddit today shows what appears to be a Speck folio that is listed as being compatible with an as-yet-unannounced 2021 model of an 11-inch iPad, in addition to the...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
m1 ipad pro magic keyboards

Leaker Claims 11-inch iPad Pro to Ship on May 22, 12.9-inch on May 21

Monday April 26, 2021 5:23 am PDT by
Last week Apple announced brand new updates to its 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the faster M1 processor and a brand new mini-LED 12.9-inch display. Both models will become available for pre-order starting on April 30, and Apple says they'll be shipping in the second half of May. Now, according to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, the 11-inch iPad Pro, which features a faster M1 processor and...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
ipad pro xdr display blooming

Apple Says iPad Pro's XDR Display Designed to Minimize Blooming, but Some Users Still Notice the Effect

Monday May 24, 2021 8:25 am PDT by
Some users are noticing more blooming on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro's Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display than expected, despite Apple's claims that the effect is minimized. According to recently published Apple Support documents, the iPad Pro's Liquid Retina XDR display is designed to improve on "the trade-offs of typical local dimming systems, where the extreme brightness of LEDs might cause a...
iPad Pro July Shipping

Shipping Estimates for 12.9-Inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Slip to July

Friday April 30, 2021 11:31 am PDT by
Prior to the launch of the new iPad Pro models, rumors suggested that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro would be in short supply, and it appears those rumors were correct. Shipping estimates for 12.9-inch iPad Pro models now range into July for orders placed today, though the highest-end 2TB model is still available for June delivery. 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB models have delivery estimates of...
maxresdefault

iFixit Digs Into M1 iPad Pro in New XDR Display Teardown

Friday June 4, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
iFixit has started one of its traditional teardowns on the 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro, which began arriving to customers on its May 21 launch date. iFixit's teardown delves into the new "XDR" mini-LED display, which is one of the iPad's major new features. The M1 iPad Pro features new 5G antennas at the sides to enable 5G connectivity, and there's a 10566 mAh (40.33Wh) battery inside. As for...
iPad Pro Mini LED

Kuo: Mini-LED 12.9-inch iPad Pro to Enter Mass Production in 'Mid-to-Late April'

Thursday March 18, 2021 1:38 am PDT by
Apple's new 12.9-inch mini-LED iPad Pro will enter mass production in the second half of April, according to a new note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The prediction adds further credence to a Bloomberg report just yesterday that said next month would be the earliest time we should expect the new models to appear. In an investors note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo says that mass production for...