Apple still hasn’t caught up with demand for 2021 iPad Pro

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There’s more 2021 iPad Pro RAM than in any previous Apple tablet.
The wait for a newest 12.9-inch iPad Pro is fairly short. But there is one if you buy it from Apple and most places.
Photo: Apple

Those eager to get the 12.9-inch version of the 2021 iPad Pro still face a week+ wait when ordering from Apple. But the situation has improved — not too long ago, the wait stretched for a month or more.

As recently as June, customers had to wait four to six weeks to get this tablet shipped from Apple.com. And in May, the wait time was about two months.

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The situation is better now. Place an order on Tuesday, August 3 for a base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 8GB of RAM and 128GB and it’ll be delivered between August 11 and August 18 — a wait of a week or two.

Some Apple retail stores have units available. But not many. Spot checks by Cult of Mac found that no Apple stores in Atlanta, Chicago or Seattle has the base unit in stock. One store each in Boston or Los Angeles does.

2021 iPad Pro not always quick to get

Shoppers can’t necessarily turn to alternative sources to get the 2021 iPad Pro immediately either.

Order the base model from Amazon on August 3 and it won‘t be delivered until sometime between Aug. 29 and Sept. 1. That said, it’s available at $100 off.

But national retailer Best Buy is an exception. Order the 12.9-inch version of this tablet on Tuesday and it’ll arrive tomorrow. And many of this retailer’s brick-and-mortar stores have the tablet in stock, too.

mini-LED display causing delay

The situation is different when ordering the 11-inch version of the tablet. An order placed on Apple’s online store today for this iteration of the 2021 iPad Pro can be delivered tomorrow.  The disparity in delivery dates points a finger at its unique feature: the mini-LED screen. The 11-inch version doesn’t have one.

The new type of display is an improved version of LCD that uses many more tiny backlights. In the new tablet, these provide a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. For comparison, the 2020 and 2018 versions of the computer offer a contrast ratio of about 1700:1. In less technical terms, the new screen offers blacker blacks and whiter whites.

But Apple is clearly still having trouble getting sufficient supply of mini-LED displays for the latest 12.9 iPad Pro. Which doesn’t bode well for the 2021 MacBook Pro models that are rumored to also have mini-LED screens.