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iPad Pro 2021 already hit with major delay

iPad Pro 2021
(Image credit: Apple)

When Apple unveiled the 2021 iPad Pro at its Spring Loaded event, it revealed everything except the release date, only stating that the hardware would be on shelves in the second half of May. 

Now it appears that may have been optimistic for the more advanced 12.9-inch model. Pre-orders for the new iPad Pro hardware opened yesterday on Apple’s site, and the delivery times for the larger version suggest early adopters are in for a long wait.

As first spotted by Bloomberg, if you attempt to add a 12.9-inch iPad Pro to your basket on the Apple website, even the basic model will give you an estimated delivery date of between June 24 and July 8. 

Given the 11-inch iPad Pro has a delivery date of late May, the most likely culprit for this delay is the mini-LED technology debuting in the larger model. While we haven’t had the opportunity to review the new iPad Pro yet, the new technology should be a significant improvement over previous generations in terms of picture quality

But this improvement requires more than 10,000 LEDs for each panel — a big step up from the 72 used in previous generations, and it’s perhaps unsurprising that there are delays, especially with supply chains still not firing on all cylinders from last year’s coronavirus disruption. 

Other generational changes are shared between the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models of iPad Pro. There’s the same M1 chip used in last year’s MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini for a 50% boost in CPU performance on the previous generation, an improved front-facing camera and Thunderbolt support. This is also the first time an iPad has supported 5G, although you’ll have to pay an extra $200 for the cellular version.

Thankfully, the other Apple products introduced last month don’t appear to have such a long delivery time. The fancy looking purple iPhone 12 will be shipped in early May, and the new Apple TV will follow a little after that. The colorful new 24-inch iMacs will ship in late May for the entry-level model, or early-to-mid June for the versions with 8-core GPUs and additional ports. Curiously, while a single $29 AirTag will arrive in the first half of May, you’ll have to wait until June if you want the cost-saving $99 four pack.