New iPad Pro OLED and iPad Air reportedly set for May launch

iPad Pro 2022
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It’s been a long time since Apple released new iPads, with 2023 the first year to see no new models since the tablet first debuted in 2010. That tablet drought was once expected to end this month, with the 2024 iPad Pro and iPad Air 6 tipped for a March launch, but it now seems you’ll have to wait a little bit longer.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman — who originally tipped the March date last year — both tablets are now set for May. Citing “people with knowledge of the matter," the delay is apparently due to two factors: a rush to finish software for the tablets, and the “complex new manufacturing techniques” required to produce the new models’ screens.

While the report doesn’t specify which model is having manufacturing teething troubles, it’s almost certain to be the iPad Pro. The next edition of Apple’s most expensive tablet is set to embrace OLED screens for the first time, and this break with previous designs is likely chiefly responsible for the delay.

OLED iPad Pro should be worth the wait

The new panels should be worth the wait, however, with OLED technology generally offering better image quality, with each pixel individually lit, ensuring perfect blacks and incredible contrast. On top of this, the tablet is widely tipped to feature ultra-thin bezels, the power of Apple’s latest M3 chip and to provide support for a brand new Magic Keyboard which should make it a productivity powerhouse.

The new-look iPad Air, meanwhile, is set to offer consumers more choice than ever before with two different size offerings. While the 2022 iPad Air is only available in one 10.9-inch configuration, the new model will also come in a new 12.9-inch frame — a size that was previously only available for those willing to pay top dollar for the largest iPad Pro.

It’s a strategy that follows what Apple is doing with its iPhones. If you don’t want to pay $1,199 for an iPhone 15 Pro Max, you can still get a big-screen experience for $300 less with the iPhone 15 Plus — albeit with fewer features. Just keep in mind that one rumor says we won't see a larger iPad Air, so it's possible it might not happen. 

As with the iPhones, the iPad Air will have drawbacks compared to the more expensive Pro: expect cheaper LED panels, no 120Hz ProMotion support a weaker camera and likely the slower M2 chipset. 

We should find out if the rumored specs are correct soon enough. If Gurman’s sources are right, all will be revealed at some point in the next couple months.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.