Apple is planning to introduce new M3-powered MacBook Air, iPad Air, and iPad Pro models by as early as March 2024, as part of its efforts to boost sales for its Mac and iPad lineup. Apple has not released any new iPad this year, which has resulted in a considerable decline in sales.
M3 chip Macs and tablets
As per Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, Apple will release the iPad Air in two screen sizes: an existing 10.9-inch screen size and a new 12.9-inch screen. The company will also update its Pro models to OLED screens. This is expected to be the biggest design update to the iPad Pro since 2018, which has not seen any external changes whatsoever. In terms of displays, the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro features a mini-LED display, while the smaller 11-inch model still features an LED display. It is unclear as to why Apple would move its display technology to OLED since the company is using mini-LED on its premium MacBook Pro models with great color reproduction, high refresh rates, and dynamic range.
The iPad Pro line-up is expected to ship in 11-inch and 13-inch screen sizes, powered by an M3 chip. The company will also update its accessories such as the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard, with the latter featuring a sturdier frame with aluminum and more laptop-like capabilities.
Despite regular new updates to the Mac, Apple reported that sales went down by 34% in the last quarter, which would have rung the alarm bells in Cupertino. Apple has been steadily updating its higher-end Macs, and even introduced a new low-end 14-inch MacBook Pro model recently, but this has come at a cost of higher prices. There seems to be a demand for lower-end Macs for people to upgrade from their existing M1 and M2 models.
Gurman reports that the new iPad releases will be accompanied by iPadOS 17.4, while the new Macs will ship with macOS 14.3 update.
Even though Apple recently released its M3 MacBook Pro models, its lower-priced MacBook Air is still on the M2 chip. It is clear that once consumers know that a new version of Apple Silicon is available in the form of M3, they are bound to lose interest in the existing generation of the chip which is soon to be outdated, even though it performs very well in real-world usage.