Apple event rumor roundup: Everything we might see on May 7

The Apple Let Loose invitation image on an iPad
(Image credit: Tom’s Guide/Shutterstock/Apple)

Apple is hosting a “Let Loose” event on May 7 and it’s expected we’ll get our first glimpse of brand-new iPads. That’s exciting considering the company didn’t release any tablets at all during 2023. While this particular event won’t be in-person like June's WWDC 2024, it should be exciting for those who are fans of the best iPads.

There has been no official word about new iPads, but rumors of new tablets have been circulating for months. Given how the graphic for this event prominently features an Apple Pencil, it’s a safe bet the company will announce new iPads.

Based on rumors, the iPads in question might be the iPad Pro 2024 and iPad Air 2024. It's also possible we'll see an updated Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil. As for the base iPad and iPad mini, we could hear something at the event but new versions of those tablets aren’t expected until later this year, possibly during fall. There might be some AI discussions as well, though it’s expected Apple will save the major talking points for WWDC.

Without further ado, here’s everything expected from Apple’s “Let Loose” event on May 7.

iPad Pro 2024

The iPad Pro 2024 will likely be the highlight of Apple’s event since it’s expected to receive the most notable upgrades over its predecessor. This tablet could also give us a taste of the company’s upcoming AI plans.

Apple M4 chip 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Previous rumors said the iPad Pro 2024 would pack an Apple M3 chip similar to the ones found in the MacBook Air 13-inch M3, MacBook Air 15-inch M3 and MacBook Pro 14-inch M3. However, in a shocking turn of events, rumors now say the iPad Pro will feature an M4 chip — making it the first Apple device to sport this rumored processor.

According to Bloomberg reporter and Apple tipster Mark Gurman (who is the source of most of the rumors we’re discussing here), the Apple M4 chip’s main feature will allegedly be an upgraded Neural Engine meant to enhance the tablet’s AI performance. Gurman says this will mark the start of the company’s shift into AI hardware — which it has been slow to get involved in until now. M-series chips like the Apple M1 and Apple M2 have always had a Neural Engine, but considering the industry’s love affair with AI, I can’t say I’m surprised that Apple wants to boast about the M4’s AI capabilities.

The inclusion of an M4 chip would undoubtedly make the iPad Pro 2024 Apple’s most powerful tablet yet. The iPad Pro seems designed to run powerful AI loads right on the device instead of just via the cloud. And with the expected performance boost over M3, the iPad Pro (and other devices with an M4 chip) could be a gaming powerhouse.

OLED panel 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Before the M4 rumor came out of nowhere, the biggest expected change for the iPad Pro was the inclusion of an OLED panel. Screen enthusiasts like our own Dave Meikleham have been clamoring for an OLED iPad Pro upgrade, and it seems it’s finally about to happen. However, rumors claim that only the 12.9-inch model will receive this upgrade. The 11-inch iPad Pro should retain the mini-LED panel of the current iPad Pro models.

OLED technology generally offers better image quality. And with each pixel being individually lit, it ensures perfect blacks and incredible contrasts. Though I love the rich image quality provided by the mini-LED panels of the current iPad Pros, I know an OLED panel would make everything appear crisper and vibrant.

Landscape front camera 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Another rumor claims the iPad Pro 2024 could take a design cue from the iPad 10 in the form of a landscape-oriented camera on the tablet’s front. That might not sound like a big deal, but considering how most people tend to use their tablets in landscape or horizontal mode, it might make using the iPad Pro’s camera easier and more intuitive.

We first heard about this rumored upgrade in January 2024 after the iPadOS 17.4 beta code hinted that the iPad Pro’s Face ID sensors were being relocated from the top of the device when held in portrait, and to the top when held in landscape. "During Face ID ‌setup, ‌iPad‌ needs to be in landscape with the camera at the top of the screen," the code read.

iPads have historically had the front camera positioned on the short side of the display. But as I said, most folks tend to use tablets in landscape mode instead of portrait. And given how the best Android tablets tend to have front cameras oriented for landscape mode, it makes sense that Apple wouldn’t want to seem anachronistic compared to the competition. And since the iPad 10 already moved its front camera to facilitate landscape mode, it wouldn’t be surprising if the iPad Pro followed suit.

Thinner design

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

According to rumors, the 11-inch iPad Pro 2024 will be 0.2 inches thick compared to the 0.23 inches of the current model. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is expected to drop from 0.25 to 0.19 inches thick. If this is true, these thinner tablets could be easier to hold for longer periods and to travel with.

Since OLED screens are inherently thin, it makes sense the iPad Pro would be thinner than previous non-LED models. The thinner design should also reduce the tablet’s weight. Currently, the 11-inch iPad weighs just a bit over 1 pound while its bigger 12.9-inch counterpart can weigh as much as 1.5 pounds. A drop in weight would be a nice bonus in addition to an OLED display.

iPad Air 2024

The rumored iPad Air 2024 isn’t expected to receive as many major updates as the iPad Pro 2024. A spec bump is a likely bet but we could also see a larger-sized model. 

A super-sized iPad Air

iPad Air 5

Games like Genshin Impact run smoothly on the iPad Air thanks to the powerful M1 chip. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The current iPad Air has a 10.9-inch display. According to rumors, Apple will offer the iPad Air with two display sizes. In addition to a 10.9-inch model, we might see a larger 12.9-inch size that matches the largest iPad Pro. While this iPad Air’s size might be Pro-like, it will still utilize the same LCD technology of the current iPad Air instead of the mini-LED display of the Pro models.

An all-new size might be the biggest design change for the iPad Air. A 12.9-inch iPad Air would naturally be heavier than a 10.9-inch model. That said, I suspect it would be lighter than the 1.5-pound iPad Pro since this is still an “Air” tablet. I also think it’s a safe bet this device will cost less than the bigger iPad Pro — which would be good compensation for the lack of a mini-LED display.

Since the iPad Pro comes in two sizes, it wouldn't be so outlandish for the iPad Air to follow suit — even if that does make purchasing an Air a little more confusing. Still, if you want a larger display at a (presumably) lower price than the iPad Pro, the 12.9-inch iPad Air could be worthwhile.

Apple M3

Apple chipsets

If rumors are true, the iPad Pro 2024 will run on the Apple M3 processor using a 3nm process.  (Image credit: Apple)

The current iPad Air features an M1 chip and Apple never released a model with an M2 processor. Because of that, rumors claiming the iPad Air will have an M3 chip are likely correct.

The base M3 chip delivers excellent performance. It brings major gains in speed and adds new graphical capabilities like hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading. That means you would be able to play games like Resident Evil Village and Baldur’s Gate 3 on the iPad Air.

Since the iPad Pro will reportedly have an M4 processor, it makes sense for the iPad Air to have an M3 chip since it’s meant to be less powerful and less expensive than its bigger counterpart. An M3 chip powering a tablet might still seem like overkill, but folks such as video editors and gamers might want the extra horsepower. That said, other rumors have claimed the iPad Air will have an M2 chip.

Updated peripherals

In addition to new iPad announcents, rumors say Apple will also update two of its most popular iPad-related peripherals.

Magic Keyboard

iPad Pro 2022

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Apple Magic Keyboard is an essential tool for those who use an iPad Pro for work. This peripheral hasn’t been updated in some time, but rumors suggest it’s about to receive some notable changes. If what we’ve heard is true, it could make using the iPad Pro feel more like using one of the best MacBooks.

According to Mark Gurman, Apple plans to revamp the Magic Keyboard to make “the iPad Pro look even more like a laptop than the current setup.” In addition, the peripheral will also feature a “larger trackpad.” 

Gurman also claims the Magic Keyboard might get an aluminum finish that would give it the appearance of Apple’s laptops. This would be another step closer to realizing the dream of making the iPad Pro a laptop replacement — at least visually.

Apple Pencil 3 

Apple Pencil hover preview shows where your pen will land before you commit to writing or drawing. This will be especially useful for creatives. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Rumors say the Apple Pencil 3 is launching this year. Since Let Loose’s graphic features an Apple Pencil, I think we’ll see an updated stylus at the event.

Based on what was discovered in the iPadOS 17.5 beta code, there’s evidence of a new “squeeze” feature for an as-yet-unreleased Apple Pencil that might be the rumored Apple Pencil 3. 9to5Mac, who originally reported on this topic, also suggests this stylus could feature interchangeable magnetic tips.

What else?

The iPad Pro and iPad Air should be the highlights of the Let Loose event. We might hear other bits of information about the company’s other devices, though Apple might divulge more information later. Mark Gurman’s recent post about the upcoming Apple event briefly details what we might and might not hear.

Gurman says Apple will introduce a lower-cost version of the iPad 10. Right now, this entry-level iPad costs $449. Apparently, Apple wants to reduce the price closer to the $329 iPad 9. If that happens, Apple could phase out that older model. Gurman says this might not happen until the end of 2024 at the earliest.

Apple is working on an iPad mini 7 featuring a faster processor. However, it likely won’t launch alongside the iPad Pro and iPad Air. Expect this one later this year.

We’ll hear some talk about the iPad Pro’s AI capabilities but Apple won’t go into much detail at Let Loose. Gurman claims that will happen at WWDC 2024 when the company will introduce iPadOS 18.

Regarding other Apple devices, Apple is reportedly nearing completion of revamped low-end AirPods — which should launch this fall alongside the iPhone 16 line. As for Macs, Gurman says to not expect these computers to receive a mention on May 7. M4-powered Macs aren't likely to arrive until late 2024.


Apple hasn’t said it will announce new iPads on May 7 but it’s reasonable to assume that’s exactly what will happen.

The promise of new tablets is exciting, especially since it’s been so long since the last iPad was released. I’m most eager for the iPad Pro with an OLED display and M4 chip, if that device is real. The rumored 12.9-inch iPad Air also sounds appealing.

We’ll be covering the Let Loose event on May 7 so be sure to check back with us for more!

More from Tom's Guide

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

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.