New iPad could launch at Apple Event this week, but tough luck if you want to own one


Apple has mailed out invitations for its next media event. Unfortunately, the Californian company isn’t giving much away on the invites, which include the tagline “Spring Loaded” and a squiggly multi-colour Apple logo. However, a number of reliable tipsters claim Apple is gearing up to announce a new version of its iPad Pro at the event, as well as a few other treats.

That makes a certain amount of sense. The iPad Pro, which is available in 11 and 12.9-inch screen sizes, was announced back in March 2020. Since then, Apple has redesigned its more affordable iPad Air, which is equipped with its latest-and-greatest A14 Bionic system-on-a-chip – leaving the £579 iPad Air with a more powerful chipset than the “Pro” level iPad, which costs between £769 and £1,469. As well as more grunt under the bonnet, sources suggest the new iPad Pro will rely on a mini-LED with better contrast than the LCD display on the current model.

However, before you get too excited about getting your hands on a brand-new iPad Pro following the announcement this week, you might want to temper expectations.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is facing production issues with the upgraded iPad Pro. It seems to be the mini-LED display that is causing the headache for the iPhone manufacturer. Sources speaking to Bloomberg claim that Apple is seeing poor manufacturing yields with its 12.9-inch touchscreen. In fact, the issues are seemingly so bad that Apple has paused production from one screen supplier altogether.

With invitations now mailed out, Apple is clearly confident enough to proceed with the announcement, but Bloomberg’s report suggests there will be “constrained quantities” at launch.

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Apple usually offers pre-orders for its new gadgets before they begin to land on store shelves, so you’ll need to be fervently refreshing the Apple Store webpage to make sure you’re front of the (virtual) queue.

As well as an upgraded iPad Pro, sources claim Apple could be lining up its Tile-like trackers, dubbed AirTags, at the “Spring Loaded” event. These so-called AirTags, which have been referred in beta versions of Apple’s software despite no confirmation from the company that it’s working on this type of gadget, will allow iPhone and iPad owners to keep tabs on the location of their wallet, backpack, purse, and more.

With an AirTag fitted into a pocket, these items will appear alongside your AirPods, Mac and other Apple-branded devices in the Find My app that’s preinstalled on all iOS devices.

Apple could also use the opportunity to roll out its next iOS update to iPhone owners worldwide. iOS 14.5, which has been in testing for weeks, will include the ability to unlock your iPhone using Face ID – even when you’re wearing a face covering.

To do this, you’ll need to be wearing an Apple Watch that’s unlocked. Apple will use Bluetooth to work out whether the Apple Watch is close enough that it’s likely on your arm. With this knowledge, it will be more forgiving when it detects a face-covering shielding part of your face when authenticating with a Face ID scan.

The “Spring Loaded” event will take place on April 20, 2021. Express.co.uk will be tuning in, so check back for all the announcements.

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