Mark Gruman from Bloomberg reports that Apple is working on cleaning up its confusing iPad lineup and its accompanying accessories in the future.
You might have noticed that since Apple has been launching new Apple Silicon Mac models annually, the company has put the development of iPads on the back burner.
In 2022, the tech giant only launched the 10th generation iPad, or iPad 10 with major upgrades. iPad 10 features an A14 Bionic chip, a redesigned 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, a first-ever landscape front camera, a USB-C connector, and more.
However, other models like iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad Mini have not been upgraded since 2021.
Apple expected to phase out iPad 9 and older Apple Pencils as part of the category’s clean-up
Gurman states that the tech giant draws inspiration for its tablet “clean up” from the latest MacBook lineup, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro and 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air—the pro models feature larger displays and faster processors for a higher price.
According to the report, Apple is planning for the following changes in the upcoming iPad Pro, iPad Air.
Apple will upgrade the iPad Pro with a new design, M3 chip, and an OLED display with a slightly larger screen real estate.
On the other hand, the new iPad Air would be “lower-end than the Pro but more improved than the iPad with M2 processor and two sizes: 10.9-inch and 12.9-inch.
The Pro will get you slightly more real estate. The iPad Air will come in 10.9-inch and 12.9-inch configurations, while the Pro will be 11 and 13 inches. This mirrors the approach with the MacBook Air and Pro, where the latter model has a slightly larger screen.
Although Gurman did not mention any changes in the new 11th-generation iPad, he said that its arrival would phase out iPad 9 which still features the older design with a Home Button and thick bezels. Moreover, the iPad Mini would be upgraded with a faster processor.
New iPad Pro and iPad Air are expected to launch in March 2024 but iPad 11 and refreshed iPad should be expected “much later”.
Apple working on a new Magic Keyboard and a clean-up of iPad accessories
Furthermore, it is also claimed that Apple is working on streamlining iPad accessories like Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard because not all accessories are compatible with each model.
Apple currently sells three different Apple Pencils, for instance. The new low-end stylus doesn’t work with Apple’s cheapest iPad, while the highest-end Pencil isn’t compatible with the newest iPad.
The 2024 iPad Pro models will be compatible with a new and improved Magic Keyboard. More importantly, Apple will discontinue older Apple Pencils with the discontinuation of iPad to clean up the accessories line up too.
Expected cost of the new iPad models: from most expensive to the least
- iPad Pro might cost more than current models because of advanced features and accessories.
- iPad Air might be the same as Apple does not plan to increase its screen size and add support for the new Magic Keyboard. It will be compatible with the current Magic Keyboard.
- iPad and iPad Mini will be sold pocket pocket-friendly prices as cheaper models compete with affordable Chromebooks.