Apple’s new iPad Pro (2021) is here for 2021, officially making the leap to Apple’s in-house M1 chip and sporting an upgraded Liquid Retina XDR screen with HDR support. It also has 5G compatibility, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, new camera features, and generally everything you would want in a new iPad — so it’s not surprising if you already want to buy one. Here’s everything to know about availability, pre-ordering, and what to expect if you’re looking to purchase the iPad Pro in either the 11-inch or 12.9-inch size.
Availability date and pricing
The new M1 iPad Pro will not be available to pre-order until April 30. Apple expects to actually start shipping in the latter half of May, so it will be around a month of waiting after pre-order to receive the iPad. Now let’s take a look at pricing — this time around, there are two different versions of the iPad Pro with significantly different pricing between the different models
iPad Pro 11-inch (2021) pricing: $799 to $2,099 (financing starts at $66.58 per month)
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) pricing: $1,099 to $2,399 (financing starts at $91.58 per month)
Buying from Apple
Buying right from Apple is the most direct approach for pre-ordering, and the best way to ensure you get all available customization options as well as avoid potential shipping delays. Here’s what to do.
Step 1: Wait for April 30. Apple is adhering to its own rules and will not make pre-orders available before this time.
Step 2: Head to Apple’s iPad Pro webpage and choose your size. The first and most important choice for your pre-order is deciding what size iPad Pro you want. The 11-inch version comes with the more traditional Liquid Retina display, while the 12.9-inch version bumps up screen size and upgrades to the new Liquid Retina XDR display.
Step 3: Make other specification choices. Here’s what you can choose during customization:
- Finish: This time the iPad Pro is limited to Space Gray and Silver.
- Storage: There are five storage options for the iPad Pro’s SSD, ranging from 128GB to 2TB. This is another spec that has a large impact on price.
- Connectivity: Either Wi-Fi only or you can add Cellular support if you have a compatible data plan.
- Accessories: Take a look at our own recommendations and look at Apple’s accessory store for any other devices you may need, like a keypad or the Apple Pencil. Note that accessories are sized differently for the 11-inch vs. the 12.9-inch versions of the iPad Pro, so buy accordingly.
Step 4: Add engraving and AppleCare+ if necessary. These are optional steps depending on how you feel about personalization and adding more warranty protection.
Step 5: Place your order. When the pre-order goes live, you will be able to select the Continue bottom at the bottom to order. Note Apple is good at storing your specification selections if you want to save this webpage for a later visit after making your choices.
Alternative option: Wait for the big retailers
If you don’t want to order from Apple, you can also wait for major retailers to release their own pre-order options. Currently, no one else has the 2021 iPad Pro product pages available yet, but they should go up around the April 30 pre-order date. You can check availability at any time by visiting their iPad results, linked below:
Looking for deals
Finding a deal on an Apple pre-order can be a challenge, but there are a few tactics you try if saving money is part of your plan — especially if you are willing to wait until the final release date for the iPad Pro.
Look for education deals: Apple is offering some excellent education discounts for the iPad Pro (2021), which you can find in the education pricing section for pre-order. Current or newly accepted college students, their parents, faculty or staff for any school grade, and homeschool teachers all qualify for a $749 deal on the 11-inch iPad Pro and $999 deal for the 12.9-inch model.
Trading in older Apple devices: One of the most direct ways to save is to trade in a current Apple device when you are upgrading to your new iPad Pro to immediately apply a rebate to the purchase. Apple allows you to do this when you pre-order, although you will have to have the device details handy.
Look for iPad deals from carriers: While iPad deals aren’t as common as smartphone deals among phone carriers, you can still find them. In this case, if you buy the cellular version of the 2021 iPad Pro and activate it with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon, you can get up to $200 back. Check your own carrier for individual details when the time comes!
Wait for store discounts: For a spring release, discounts aren’t likely to hit the new iPad right away. But if you are willing to bide your time, you can look for store discounts or included freebies as big shopping days approach (Memorial Day, for example).