iPad 2024 models to be unveiled on May 7th

Apple officially announces an online presentation at long last, here’s what to expect


iPad sales need a serious boost at some point soon and that is what Apple is clearly aiming for with the new models it will be bringing to market. On May 7th we’re going to find out what’s on offer this time around. (Image: Sayan Majhi, Unsplash)


After a few months of uncertainty regarding the type of announcement – a proper keynote or just a press release? – and the exact date, Apple confirmed it will be officially unveiling new products on May 7th via a full online presentation: judging from the invitation art pictured below, though, it can’t be anything other than the long-awaited iPad 2024 models. This is an Apple product category that has been in decline at an alarming rate during the last few years, so we expect to see a number of iPads getting refreshed and upgraded, especially given the fact that it’s been anything between 18-24 months since their predecessors were released to market.

As is usually the case these days, numerous information leaks over the past few months gave everyone a good idea of what to expect from this event. There will be two new iPad Pro models sporting, for the first time, OLED screens of excellent brightness and contrast, as well as a front-facing camera moved to the side so that consumers can properly make videocalls in landscape mode. These will also be based on the new M3 chips – so performance and battery life should be considerably improved over the 2022 iPad Pro M2-based models – while rumors making the rounds insist on some design changes too, although that’s far from certain.

The invitational animation on Apple’s official events page does not leave room for doubt: new iPad models will be unveiled soon. Question is, which ones are getting serious, interesting upgrades? (Image: Apple)


Along these new iPad Pro tablets Apple is expected to announce a new Apple pencil and a new Magic Keyboard accessory, both of which should offer advanced functionality compared to the current models (there’s even talk about some Pro-specific software features developed for those products). The mainstream iPad Air model is also expected to receive a few upgrades, such as the M2 chip and Wi-Fi 6E, as well as a new, larger 12.9-inch size for consumers interested e.g. in media consumption but not creative or productive use. Sadly, there hasn’t been any talk about an iPad Ultra during the past year, so it’s safe to assume that it’s not in the cards (if it ever was).

There’s always the possibility of Apple updating all of its iPad lines in one fell swoop and be done with the tablet category for the year, so there might be an updated iPad Mini model – whether there’s a point in that is debatable – and even a seriously upgraded “vanilla iPad” model announced on May 7th. If that indeed proves to be the case, nobody expects them to get much screen time. Talking about other possibilities, there’s nothing keeping Apple from announcing some Mac hardware too, like e.g. M3 updates for the Mac Studio and the Mac Mini, although word on the Web is that both of those desktop models may actually skip the M3 and go straight for the M4 at some point in Q4.

iPad Pro owners have repeatedly expressed disappointment in the way iPadOS is holding back the true potential of those models. Introducing more powerful models without making changes on a software level may not work as well as Apple hopes it will. (Image: Francois Hoang, Unsplash)


The obvious problem is, of course, that there was nothing actually wrong with the previous iPad models – especially the Pro ones – on a hardware level: yours truly owns a 2021 12.9-inch M1-based iPad Pro since launch and the number of apps or games capable of giving it a proper workout are still less than a dozen. It’s always been the software, iPadOS, that’s holding iPads back from realizing their full potential as computing devices – again, especially the Pro models – so we’ll just have to wait until Apple’s June 10th WWDC presentation in order to find out whether the company has finally decided to shake things up on that front. Not long now, then!

UPDATE 28/04/2024: In a rather surprising turn of events, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reports that “there is a strong possibility” of the new iPad Pro models using the still-unannounced M4 processor, not the M3. Gurman believes that “Apple will position the tablet as its first truly AI-powered device”, presumably followed by the next iPhone and Mac models of 2024. If this turns out to be true, it will be noteworthy for a number of reasons. In just over a week, we’ll all find out.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kostas Farkonas

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

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