Amid a pandemic that has created a fresh need for many people to perform their essential work and school functions from home, sources in the know said Wednesday that Apple plans to expand its iPad Pro line in April.
According to Bloomberg, the design of the updated iPad Pro is expected to resemble the 11-inch and 12.9-inch Pros released last March, but will also include the added bonus of upgraded cameras and a new processor that matches the speed of the pM1 chip in Apple’s newest MacBook Airs, Pros, and Mac mini.
With the 12.9-inch Pros, Apple is also reportedly eyeing a Mini-LED screen, which would improve brightness and contrast ratios and be overall less susceptible to burn-in than OLED screens. That particular development has been previously foreshadowed by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has long predicted that a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro might be Apple’s first mini-LED product.
Bloomberg also reports that Apple has tested the new line of iPad Pros with a Thunderbolt port, which would keep them in line with the latest Macs with custom-built processors. In addition to being faster at syncing data than the USB-C technology that’s being used on the current iPad models, the Thunderbolt connector would also allow for connectivity with additional peripherals, including external monitors and hard drives.
Work-from-home and remote learning protocols instituted as a result of the pandemic sent Apple’s profits through the roof last year, with the company’s holiday quarter earnings for 2020 reporting revenue that had shot up to over $100 billion for the first time — a 21% increase year-over-year.
Apple’s tablets were an especially hot ticket, with the iPad alone reportedly bringing in a whopping $8.4 billion.