The year 2023 was unprecedented in that it was the first since Apple released the iPad that there was no update to any model. This year will surely be different, and indeed the latest rumours suggest that Apple may be preparing to release new iPad Pros as soon as next month.
And it sounds like those new 2024 iPad Pros could turn out to be worth the wait. It's been reported that Apple's high-end tablets will get the biggest update they've seen in generations, if not since their launch, with an all-new design and possibly even new materials (see our guide to the iPad generations to see where we are today).
Bloomberg's regular Apple correspondent Mark Gurman says the new 2024 iPad Pros will be with us in spring (northern hemisphere) along with a new iPad Air and new M3 MacBook Airs too. This could mean anything from March to June, but Gurman says the new iPad Pros are "deep in production" and most likely to appear next month.
He says the iPad Pros will represent the "biggest revamp ever" for a product that was first launched in 2015. He expects them to have M3 chips, which is fairly logical considering the current 2022 models have M2s, but they will also introduce what is perhaps the biggest update people have been waiting for – an OLED display.
The bad news is that this is likely to hike the price. OLED displays are more expensive than LCD ones, so we expect the iPad Pro to get a price bump. It's been suggested by MacRumors that the entry-level models could start as high as $1,500 (11-inch) and $1,800 (13-inch) instead of $799 and $1,099 for the current models.
iPad Pro 2024 redesign
It's also suggested that the iPad Pro is getting its first redesign in five years, with the larger of the two size options growing slightly from 12.9in to 13in. Some rumours go further to suggest that Apple will drop the use of aluminium for an entirely glass body. It's not the first time that we've heard this rumour, but it would fit in with suggestions that the tablets could be getting build in MagSafe charging.
A more definite-sounding rumour is that the camera will be moved from portrait to landscape orientation. This comes from details in the iOS 17.4 beta release hinting at the introduction of a Face ID camera with this orientation.
Alas, the rumoured slightly larger size of the biggest iPad Pro could mean a need for new cases and keyboards. Indeed, Gurman says he's been told that Apple is planning to launch a revamped Magic Keyboard with a larger trackpad that would make using the iPad Pro feel even more like using a laptop.
The iPad Air in 2024
As for the iPad Air, its place in the iPad lineup could become more significant again if the rumours of price hikes for the Pros turn out to be true. There are reports from long-time observer Ming-Chi Kuo suggesting that there will be a 12.9-inch iPad Air – the same size as the largest iPad Pro, narrowing the gap with the current Pro even more. In fact, considering that the new iPad Air (or Airs) are expected to get an M2 chip, they could be very similar to the current Pro.
It's not yet clear if the new upcoming releases will make the iPad lineup more or less complex, since it appears we'll have a new size option for the Air, but it seems there could be a greater price differentiation between models. And there's no news on an update to the iPad mini yet, and it hasn't been updated since 2021, so it could be that Apple plans to send it the same way as the late iPhone mini, which we think would be a shame. It seems Apple is focusing on narrowing the lineup to three core models: the Pro, Air and the base iPad, with M3, M2 and A14 Bionic chips respectively.