Why Didn’t The 2021 11-Inch iPad Pro Feature The Liquid Retina XDR Display? Apple Tells Us

Scott Broderick and Vincent Gu, both of Apple, have sat down with Brian Tong to discuss the 2021 M1 iPad Pro. During that discussion, the lack of a Liquid Retina XDR display on the 11-inch form factor was widely discussed.

Apple raised excitement levels once again when the fruit company announced the 2021 M1-powered iPad Pro range.

The Liquid Retina XDR display was definitely one of the biggest selling points of the hardware but only ships with the larger 12.9-inch model. According to Scott Broderick, who works within the worldwide iPad product marketing team, this decision was partly driven by research and insight into what 11-inch users want:

What we know about the 11-inch user is that they just love bringing a super-powerful iPad with them in a portable 1-pound design. So they just love the form factor of that. Whereas the user who is embracing the 12.9-inch display they were looking for the largest canvas to do their most creative work on that product and it made sense to bring that XDR technology to the 12.9-inch display on the iPad Pro.

By introducing a 12.9-inch iPad Pro complete with a Liquid Retina XDR display, Apple has had to make some sacrifices for the improved visual experience. Namely, the new model is slightly thicker and heavier than its predecessor. Based on Broderick’s comments, the rationale here appears to be that Apple believes that 12.9-inch owners aren’t as “mobile” as their 11-inch counterparts and are happy to invest in something heavier and thicker.

Of course, the real truth often lies somewhere in the middle of what you are actually told and what you actually hear. Apple is said to have faced – and is continuing to face – supply issues with the new display technology, which has likely contributed to the company’s decision to only ship the 12.9-inch model with the Liquid Retina XDR display.

If you are interested in this side of the iPad and understanding more about the challenges that Apple faced with this new breed of iPads, then this whole interview with Brian Tong is definitely worth checking out.

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