Surprise! iPad Pro 2024 will reportedly be first Apple device with M4 chip

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

Apple’s Let Loose event, which is where we’re expecting the next wave of iPads to launch, takes place next week on Tuesday, May 7. We’ve already heard plenty of rumors about the upcoming iPads, and their accessories, but Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has just reported on some tantalizing new secrets.

The biggest of these is Gurman believes there’s a “strong possibility” that the incoming iPad Pro 2024 models will run on an Apple M4 chiprather than the rumored M3 chip. Apparently the key feature of the new chip is an upgraded Neural Engine, which will enhance the new tablets’ AI performance and enable Apple to use that power in its marketing.

More importantly Gurman says this will be the start of Apple’s shift into AI hardware, something it has been slow to get involved in. We’ve already heard rumors that the iPhone 16 will have a big focus on AI, in tandem with iOS 18, but Gurman also notes that the M4 chip will likely bring those capabilities to the new Macs before the end of the year. Specifically an iMac, MacBook Pros and the Mac mini.

So why announce the new chip so soon? Gurman believes it’s to get the launch out of the way ahead of WWDC 2024 in June. That way Apple can reveal its AI chip strategy without being coy about potential future hardware releases. It also means the iPad Pro 2024 will be able to take part of the AI upgrades coming with iPadOS 18 later this year.

Gurman corroborated rumors that the Let Loose event will also see the launch of a new 12.9-inch iPad Air — the largest iPad Air ever released. That’s alongside a new Magic Keyboard and the Apple Pencil 3. The new stylus may also come with haptic feedback, another first, and some new gestures.

Apple’s Let Loose event kicks off on May 7 at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT. Gurman says that it won’t be a huge show like an iPhone launch, and will likely be less than an hour. In the meantime you can check out all the latest news and rumors in our iPad Pro 2024 and iPad Air 2024 hubs.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.