Apple execs explain the insanely powerful M1-equipped iPad Pro

The M1 chip and 5G speeds enable the new iPad Pro to push the limits of what’s possible on iPad.
The M1 chip and 5G speeds enable the new iPad Pro to push the limits of what’s possible on iPad.

Apple on Tuesday announced an insanely powerful iPad Pro that pushes the limits of what’s possible on iPad. In a new interview, the company’s marketing and hardware chiefs attempt to explain the new iPad Pro. The addition of the Apple-designed M1 chip delivers a massive leap in performance, making iPad Pro the fastest computer of its kind.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro features a new Liquid Retina XDR display that brings extreme dynamic range to iPad Pro, offering a stunning visual experience with more true-to-life details to the most demanding HDR workflows. Cellular models with 5G deliver even faster wireless connectivity when on the go, and to provide users with pro-level throughput for high-speed accessories, iPad Pro now includes support for Thunderbolt. Additionally, an all-new Ultra Wide front camera enables Center Stage, a new feature that automatically keeps users perfectly framed for even more engaging video calls. The new iPad Pro is available to order beginning Friday, April 30th, on, and will be available in the second half of May.

Andrew Griffin for The Independent:

The iPad Pro is now a tablet that some have argued is now seemingly too powerful – so fast it leads to questions about what it is really trying to do… But Apple’s executives – its marketing head Greg ‘Joz’ Joswiak, and its hardware chief John Ternus, who speak to The Independent soon after the iPad’s unveiling – say they know exactly what the iPad is. It’s just that it might not be what you think…

Joz and Ternus talk to The Independent in the wake of a busy event that saw the release of a whole host of new Apple products… But the headliner was the iPad Pro, which as well as the M1 chip also includes a new miniLED display that it calls Liquid Retina XDR, 5G, vast new storage options that go all the way up to 2TB and new connectivity options including an improved Thunderbolt port. The additions address many of the complaints about the existing iPad Pro, and also make it look a lot more like a Mac computer, or at least a rival to one…

“We don’t think about well, we’re going to limit what this device can do because we don’t want to step on the toes of this [other] one or anything like that,” [Ternus] says. “We’re pushing to make the best Mac we can make; we’re pushing to make the best iPad we can make. And people choose… A lot of people have run both. And they have workflows that span both – some people, for a particular task, prefer one versus the other… But we’re just going to keep making them better. And we’re not going to get all caught up in, you know, theories around merging or anything like that.”

Joz refers to the extra headroom that the power gives developers; this is a computer aimed at pushing the envelope and the boundaries, making extra space that developers can find new ways to occupy with their own apps. “We provided that performance even before the need was there, if you will,” he says. “When you create that capability, that kind of ceiling, developers will use it. Customers will use it… It needs to exist first, right? You can’t have an app that requires more performance than the system’s capable of – then it doesn’t work. So you need to have the system be ahead of the apps.

MacDailyNews Take: The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro is like a slab that fell off an alien craft by mistake. Apple found one, mass duplicated it, put it into environmentally-responsible packaging, slapped a ridiculously low price on it for what you get, and will begin taking orders for it on Friday, April 30th.


  1. Your summary take matches my initial reaction as well. Strongly thinking of selling my 2019 pro to get this M1 monster. May throw cellular in for the first time and activate later 🙂

  2. Here’s where the puck is going: AR/VR. It’s going to take a sh!tload of computing power to pull off.

    Not that this iPad Pro is meant to pull off that feat, although it’ll probably do a passable job when the time comes. But when that time comes Apple will need ultra-mega-super-powerful devices to process and throw the kind of data necessary to make it “just work.”

    So the M1 and this iPpro are stepping stones toward the mobile supercomputing that will occur in the goggles, glasses, and the Macs/iOS devices that create and facilitate these experiences.

    This is why Apple ARM has been so off-to-the-races in the last 5-7 years. They’re not shooting for what we’ve got. They’re shooting for 3D “awake and reactive” computing experiences that still aren’t possible and won’t be until 2023-2026.

    Imagine the Apple Car spangled with 30-50 cameras such that a user wearing Apple Glasses will literally see only the world around the car as they drive, unobscured by the hood, I-beams, roof, or doorframes of the car.

    Imagine 3D FaceTime where you can lean left or right in your chair and see more of the other person’s world, which may or may not be their actual room.

    Imagine attending literally any event that you currently go-to and sit in a chair as a spectator, audience, congregation, class, or participant and having these experiences happen virtually in a reality that is indistinguishable from real, each person being a self-curated avatar that nevertheless has perfect facial reactions tracked to your own, and body movements that are also entirely virtual and directed naturally and joyously by each member.

    This will revolutionize everything. Teaching, learning, entertainment, travel, commerce…. It’s where Apple is headed. It’s one reason why Jony Ive stepped aside (it was a transition-point between individual devices and the locked together future). It’s why Apple will be the first $10 Trillion company (not especially soon), and it’s why Apple is designing chips that are way way way more powerful than necessary and will keep doing so with leaps and bounds.

    That’s the power of vision. When you clearly see the future it becomes clear what needs to happen to bridge the here and there.

  3. My order for the 2TB Space Gray 12.9” iPad Pro WiFi is already placed at a third party Authorized Apple Dealer. Hope I’m inspired to do something with it. I just know that an iPad with an M1 processor inside has got to be special. Plus the 10,000 mini-LEDs for 1,000,000 to 1 backlight contrast ratio!!! Awesome!

  4. It seems like it is the same circuit board as the new iMac. It makes me wonder why it still has only one port, and doesn’t run full MacOS.
    Managing 2 TB in that “files” app is not going to be pleasant.

  5. They need to replace the broken safari on it and actually put in a real desktop rendering engine. I’d like to use my iPad Pro as my travel machine while on call but it can’t properly tender the AWS console making it impossible to use for on the go AWS Ops work. This should be a no brainer. Either fix Safari or let alternative browsers use their render engine, not the default iOS engine.

  6. Apple has gotten in to the position where they are just selling different variations of the same machine — they have two processor variations times two RAM complements, and that’s it. The rest is just Apple’s seemingly random and arbitrary jiggling of the attached accessories and random and arbitrary jiggling of OS components and thus features.

    There’s no obvious reason the iMac shouldn’t have a touch screen. There’s no obvious reason the iPad pro shouldn’t run MacOS. There’s no obvious reason a machine with a 12.9 inch screen should have OS limitations that a machine with a 13 inch screen and the same processor doesn’t have.

    There’s no reason at this point that iPads and Macs should have different operating systems. They aren’t really different operating systems anyway — they’re just the same operating system but somehow having a touch screen attached to the same underlying hardware means your computer should work like a phone.

    Just weird, random and arbitrary and seemingly guided more by the marketing department than anyone else. (Hey, guys, if we make the iPad Pro run MacOS someone will figure out they can get one and plug in a 24″ external monitor instead of us being able to sell them an iPad Pro and an iMac.)

    1. Yeah – what he said… doing real WORK on an iPad vs iMac is onerous and tedious – not WITHIN a given app on the iPad (which can be a wonderful experience) but BETWEEN apps – that is where iPadOS fails miserably… the files app is basically a joke. Bring the MacOS to the iPad and something WONDERFUL happens…

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