Apple released a slew of new devices in 2023, including the iPhone 15, MacBook Pro M3, Apple Watch 9 and several others. Do you know what Apple didn’t release this year? New iPads. Despite arguably ranking among the best tablets, we didn’t see a single new Apple slate in 2023. While that might be disappointing, it seems we’ll be treated to the biggest iPad revamp ever in 2024.
We haven’t gotten an official announcement regarding new iPads, but rumors suggest we could see the devices as soon as spring 2024. If reports are true, Apple could release an OLED iPad Pro and a 12.9-inch iPad Air. Reports also suggest the 9th generation iPad could be discontinued, with the current iPad 10 replacing it as the cheapest iPad. There might also be an iPad Mini 7 released in 2024.
With the acknowledgment that everything I’m about to discuss isn’t official, here’s everything we’ve heard about the iPads we might see in 2024.
iPad Pro 2024
Let’s start with the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro 2022 I reviewed is currently the most powerful iPad thanks to its Apple M2 chip. If rumors are true, then its successor could take that position since it will reportedly have the same Apple M3 chip found in the new entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro. This would effectively make the iPad Pro as powerful as a MacBook Pro.
As for external upgrades, rumors and reports claim that the iPad Pro will finally get an OLED display. OLED screen technology would be a big improvement over the current mini-LED tech in the 12.9-inch model. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who is the source of most of the information here, says the panels should be “crisper and brighter” and “reproduce colors more accurately.” Gurman also claims the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will get bumped up to a 13-inch screen, a rumor we've heard from other sources too. The 11-inch tablet will reportedly not receive an increase in size. Display analyst Ross Young also made this claim back in January. Another rumor suggests the iPad Pro could get a 14-inch version.
We’ve heard rumors that the next iPad Pro could also sport a new glass body. Gurman previously said this change would be coming to the current iPad Pro, but it could be introduced with the iPad Pro 2024. Moving to a glass back would allow you to charge the upcoming iPad Pro wirelessly but also offer a form of reverse wireless charging.
Regarding wireless charging, MacRumors claims to have heard that MagSafe charging could make its iPad debut next year. This news supposedly comes from “a source that is familiar with companies that manufacture magnets for Apple products”. If MagSafe charging for the iPad Pro works similarly to MagSafe for iPhones, it would open a slew of possibilities for the iPad. We could see a range of new charging stands and possibly a Pixel Tablet-like system where a stand can turn the iPad Pro into a smart display.
Apple wireless charging is currently limited to 15W, which might not be enough for some power users. Apple could introduce some kind of MacBook-style MagSafe for the iPad Pro — with the ability to charge at much faster speeds, but that’s just speculation on our part.
As far as release date, the iPad Pro might launch in mid-2024 instead of in the first quarter like previous models. The reason behind that launch window is that mass production is tipped to start in February.
Lastly, Apple is reportedly planning to release new Magic Keyboards with a sturdier aluminum frame to make the iPad Pro look more like a laptop replacement. There are two new versions of the Magic Keyboard coming and they’ll be joined by a revamped version of the Apple Pencil. While Apple launched a cheaper Apple Pencil with USB-C back in November, this new Pencil will be the higher-end version of it.
iPad Air 6
The iPad Air 6 could be the first iPad that Apple releases next year, according to analyst Ming-chi Kuo. As was previously rumored, Kuo believes the iPad Air 2024 will come in two different sizes for the first time — the existing 10.9-inch version and a new, larger iPad Pro-matching 12.9-inch model. Kuo also says that while this iPad will still sport an LCD panel, it will have an Oxide backplane with “the same spec as the existing mini-LED iPad Pro’s.” However, we’ve also heard that the new iPad Air will have an OLED panel.
The current iPad Air 5 has an M1 chip. Apple will reportedly skip an M2 model and release a tablet featuring an M3 processor, making the iPad Air 6 the fastest model in the series.
We haven’t heard anything regarding a design change, though I’m curious to see if the reported 12.9-inch iPad Air will just be a bigger version of the 10.9-inch model. That’s not bad considering those tablets are excellent, look good and are pretty versatile when combined with an Apple Pencil or Magic Keyboard.
The basic iPad has always been a top seller and for good reason: there are a lot of people who just want a capable tablet without having to pay top dollar. The current iPad 10 uses the A14 Bionic chip, so it seems like a candidate for the A16 Bionic in the current iPhone 15.
Given how the iPad just received a new design, we don’t expect Apple to alter things with the iPad 11. That said, a refocus on Apple Pencil support would be welcomed. With the release of the USB-C Apple Pencil, it might be time for Apple to ditch the first-generation Apple Pencil to simplify options for people.
The USB-C Apple Pencil released in October 2023 for $79 — making it the most affordable Apple stylus. While it magnetically attaches to the iPad 10, it doesn’t receive a charge. It’d be good if the iPad 11 offered this type of charging. We haven’t heard any rumors suggesting Apple would add wireless charging (and pairing), but we’d like to see it.
iPad mini 7
Reports claimed Apple would launch the iPad mini 7 alongside the iPhone 15 in September. That didn’t end up happening, presumably because the iPad mini 6 was a total overhaul of the iPad mini 5 and the company didn’t feel the need to update in 2023. However, it’s possible we could see the smallest iPad receive an update in 2024 if reports are accurate.
There’s little to say regarding specs, but it would be good to see a new iPad mini 7 that upgrades the current A13 Bionic to the A16 Bionic or A17 Pro chip found in the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Max, respectively.
One report claims Apple will release an 8.7-inch iPad mini in 2024. And no, that measure isn’t a typo. While the current iPad mini has an 8.3-inch LCD screen, ETNews (via 9to5Mac) suggests it’s going to grow a decent amount in the next few years. Whether that will be by losing the bezel as the iPad mini 6 did over its 7.9-inch predecessors, or if it’s going to have a larger footprint is anyone’s guess.
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Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.