With the new iPhone 15 just weeks away, Apple is reportedly planning a major revamp of its iPad Pro for 2024
Apple is reportedly planning a major revamp of its premium iPad Pro tablet, that is set to arrival sometime in 2024.
This is according to Bloomberg’s noted Apple leaker, Mark Gruman, who reported that Apple is seeking to shake up a tablet market that is deep in the doldrums.
Earlier this month, Apple delivered a solid Q3 financial performance, but investors took fright at a third consecutive quarter of sales, as the firm reported sales declines across its iPhone, Mac and iPad line ups.
Indeed, Apple’s Q3 iPad revenue fell 20 percent to $5.79bn, after $6.41bn had been estimated by market analysts.
It should be remembered that the iPad portfolio generates the least amount of revenue among Apple’s major hardware segments.
The Bloomberg report reported that like desktops and laptops, tablet sales have slumped since a pandemic-fueled surge.
Indeed, Mark Gruman wrote in the report that the tablet decline has impacted all tablet manufacturers including Apple, Samsung and Lenovo, but also there’s just not much urgency among consumers to buy a tablet (or upgrade their perfectly functional old one).
Gruman wrote that many consumers also bought larger-screen phones in recent years, making a tablet even less necessary.
But Apple hasn’t helped matters with its own decisions, Gruman noted, and there have been a number of Apple moves keeping iPad buyers on the sidelines.
For example, Bloomberg’s Gruman noted that Apple iPad updates have been especially minor as of late. He noted that the most compelling new model in years was the low-end, 10th-generation iPad launched last October.
The iPad Pro hasn’t seen a major update since the current design was launched in 2018, and the iPad mini hasn’t been refreshed in two years.
The iPad Pro only received a modest upgrade last October, notably the new M2 processor, a Apple Pencil hover experience, and support for Wi-Fi 6E.
Another problem facing Apple, according to Mark Gruman, is that Apple’s tablet lineup is confusing. He pointed out the dizzying array of tablet models and generations.
And Gruman noted that Apple also is competing with itself, thanks to improvements in the Mac lineup. After Apple moved to its own in-house chips, Macs have become more durable and cost-effective. They last longer and are speedier, eliminating the need for iPads in some cases, Gruman reported.
And Gruman slammed Apple’s ‘perplexing’ approach to iPad software, citing Stage Manager, which is meant to make it easier to multitask, but can still be difficult to use.
But Gruman feels that Apple is still in better shape than most of the competition, as it is the market leader in tablets, with 37 percent of shipments last quarter.
So what exactly is Apple planning with its flagship iPad lineup?
Well according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gruman, the new iPad Pro model, due next year, will mark the first major update to the product since 2018.
The next iPad Pro models – codenamed J717, J718, J720 and J721 – will reportedly shift to the next-generation M3 chip. They will also be Apple’s first tablets with OLED displays, the same types of screens used on the iPhone since the X model in 2017. They are crisper and brighter, and reproduce colours more accurately, Gruman noted.
The new models will come in 11-inch and 13-inch sizes. That’s similar to the existing lineup, but the larger model is currently 12.9 inches.
Gruman also reported that he has been told that revamped Magic Keyboard is also coming.
The Magic Keyboard was first introduced by Apple in 2020, but the new accessory reportedly makes the iPad Pro look even more like a laptop than the current setup and adds a larger trackpad.
It remains to be seen whether the Magic Keyboard will include function keys – an option that is commonly found on rival iPad keyboards, but which is missing from Apple’s existing Magic keyboard.
The new models will likely give iPad sales a boost, but not for some time, Gruman reported.
The new iPad Pro will not be announced at Apple’s upcoming launch event in September, but it will debut in the spring or summer of 2024, the report said.