Apple didn’t release any iPads in 2023, but reports claim the company is ready to revamp its entire tablet line in 2024. That revamp would include the iPad Air, which could receive a super-sized upgrade in the form of a 12.9-inch model. Not only that, but the thin and light tablet could also sport the M3 chip found in the entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch.
There’s no official word on the iPad Air 2024 or the rest of the iPad line. However, it stands to reason that Apple won’t let another year slip by without releasing new versions of what are already considered some of the best tablets on the market. The question is, will the rumored iPad Air be a significant step up from the excellent iPad Air 5? Here’s what we’ve heard so far about Apple's iPad Air plans.
iPad Air 2024: Rumored release date
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is “likely” to release the rumored iPad Air in late March (something that has been reported by various outlets at time of writing), along with some other rumored products — namely, the MacBook Air M3 and iPad Pro 2024. This trio of new releases could well be powered by the existing Apple M3 chip.
It's not unheard of for Apple to hold product events in the spring, which would be in line with Gurman's suggested timing. There's also the possibility of the Worldwide Developers Conference, normally held in early June. While software is usually the focus at WWDC, Apple has been known to make hardware announcements. Apple has yet to set a date for WWDC 2024.
Whether March or June, it may make sense to put off a purchase of one of the best iPads until an official announcement from Apple, depending on your finances.
iPad Air 2024: Rumored design
As we previously reported, analyst Ming-chi Kuo believes the iPad Air 2024 will offer two different sizes for the first time — the existing 10.9-inch version and a new, larger 12.9-inch size to match the biggest iPad Pro.
Neither iPad Air model is expected to have an OLED display, but the LCD panel could feature an Oxide backplane with “the same spec as the existing mini-LED iPad Pro’s,” according to Kuo.
The new iPad Air 2024 models are reportedly codenamed "J507" and "JF37", and the rumored new 12.9-inch edition looks like it will represent the only major addition/design change to the range. Neither of these lightweight tablets seems likely to shake up the aesthetic of the existing Air range significantly, which we'd class as a good thing. Don't be surprised if a refreshed, larger tablet would naturally be heavier, of course, though we doubt it would be as weighty as an iPad Pro given that this is still an “Air” tablet.
We haven’t heard much about potential color options. The current iPad Air comes in five different hues: Space Gray, Blue, Pink, Purple and Starlight. It’s possible the successor tablet could feature the same color options, though more colors would be nice.
iPad Air 2024: Rumored specs
The new iPad Air will reportedly receive a major spec bump. Apple updated the current Air with an M1 chip but we saw no successor with an M2 chip. According to rumors, Apple is skipping an M2 iPad Air and releasing an M3-powered slate. If true, the new iPad Air would be the fastest model in the series.
The entry-level M3 MacBook Pro delivers excellent performance — bringing huge gains in speed and new graphical capabilities such as hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading. The potential to play graphically demanding games like Resident Evil Village and Baldur’s Gate 3 on such a thin device would be quite impressive.
Of course, this raises the question: does a tablet need that much power? Some have suggested that having the same M-series chips powering the best MacBooks seems like overkill. With that said, tablets like the iPad Pro M2 allow video editors to work remotely. And if you’re a gamer, you don’t want a compromised experience just because you’re on a tablet. To that end, iPads with M-chips could be perfect for some folks.
iPad Air 2024: Outlook
Apple hasn’t said anything about the iPad Air or any of the other rumored iPads expected in 2024. Because of that, treat everything discussed above with a grain or two of salt. Though we're not betting the house on it quite yet, we wouldn't be at all surprised to see brand-new iPads in 2024 — including the iPad Air.
We'll keep this page updated with the latest rumors and reports as they come in, so stay tuned for more!
More from Tom's Guide
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
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.