2023 was the first year since 2010 when Apple didn’t release a single new iPad. It looks like the drought of iPad announcements is ending in 2024, though, with Apple set to make some big announcements. Current rumors and leaks hint at some exciting updates including an OLED iPad Pro and a 12.9-inch iPad Air.
Here’s what we know so far about the 2024 iPad line-up.
M3 OLED iPad Pro
2024 is going to be a good year for fans of the iPad Pro. Current rumors and leaks indicate that the Pro is getting some huge upgrades this year including an M3 chip and an OLED display. These updates will bring the iPad very close in performance to the Macbook.
While a new chip in the Pro is exciting, the OLED display is the most important update here. The current 6th generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a Liquid Retina XDR display that’s good enough to get the job done, but it can’t compare to OLED.
This upgrade will give the iPad Pro far better color accuracy and a much crisper image. If you’re using your iPad for things like graphic design, photo editing, video editing, digital art or gaming, you’ll definitely notice the difference.
The new Pro could also have a slightly bigger screen and a more powerful camera. Right now, we’re expecting Apple to announce it sometime in the first half of 2024, most likely before WWDC.
New iPad Air screen size
2024 will also be a big year for the iPad Air line-up with Apple expected to release a new 12.9-inch model. The 10.9-inch Air is sticking around, so you will now have two sizes to choose from. The design of the Air will remain essentially the same, though, with the exception of a possible camera upgrade. What will change is the price.
The bigger screen on the 12.9-inch model isn’t going to come cheap, so it could get priced at $700 or more. This creates an unfortunate ripple effect since Apple needs to maintain a noticeable price gap between the Air and Pro line ups. So, the addition of the 12.9-inch Air could mean a significant price increase for the iPad Pro.
Of course, that was probably going to happen anyway given the major upgrades the iPad Pro is getting. The current gen iPad Pro already starts at just under $1100, so we could see that price jump to the $1500 range or potentially even higher.
Minor updates to the iPad and iPad Mini
The 10.9-inch iPad and the iPad Mini most likely won’t get any big overhauls, but we can expect to see new models with updated processors. Apple will probably bump both up to the A16 Bionic, the same chip found in the iPhone 15. It is possible Apple could go with the A15 Bionic for the more budget-oriented 10.9-inch iPad, though.
Other than that, both models will likely get a camera upgrade, but nothing major. We can expect the new iPad and iPad Mini to be available sometime in the second half of 2024.
Goodbye to the budget 9th-gen iPad
While Apple’s budget iPad line is sticking around, the most budget-friendly model is not. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting that Apple will sunset production of the 9th generation iPad, which currently starts at $329.
As much as I love seeing budget-friendly options, it’s time for the design of the 9th gen iPad to go. Its thick bezels and home button simply don’t fit in the iPad line up anymore. So, it won’t be a surprise if this is the last year it’s available.
Good budget tech is really about how much value you get for your money, which is why I wouldn’t recommend anyone opt for the 9th gen iPad these days anyway. The 10th gen model is only about $120 more expensive and includes a more powerful processor, a modern thin-bezel design, a better display, USB-C charging, 5G capability, better cameras and better speakers.
It was disappointing to go all of 2023 without any iPad news, but that’s not going to happen in 2024. It is very exciting to see an OLED iPad Pro on the horizon, especially with an M3 chip. An OLED display will be one of the most important updates to the iPad Pro since it launched, but it’s not going to come cheap.
A 12.9-inch iPad Air is going to shake up Apple’s iPad pricing and might even bite into sales for the Pro. With the price of the Pro likely going up, people upgrading from older or less powerful iPads might opt for the larger iPad Air to save some money.
It will be interesting to see how things shape up. The OLED display on the new Pro is certainly a big deal, but might not win everyone over. Stay tuned for our coverage of all the new iPads this year
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