Apple is expected to announce a new iPad Pro in 2024. After a mild M2 update in late 2022, rumors indicate a significant refresh coming to Apple’s high-end tablets early next year. Here’s everything we know about it.
Design: Apple embraces OLED displays
After differentiating both iPad Pro models by their display (LCD for the 11-inch model and miniLED for the 12.9-inch version), Apple is said to see the same panel technology for the different screen sizes.
Actually, of all the rumors, this is the one we have heard the most about during the lifecycle of the 2022 iPad Pro. In October last year, DSCC’s Ross Young predicted that both iPad Pro models would have an OLED display in 2024.
According to him, Apple is making this switch because “costs are falling,” OLED performance is improving thanks to tandem stacks and phosphorescent blue emitters. Besides Young, many other analysts reinforced that OLED is coming to the new iPad, such as The Elec, Omdia, Bloomberg, and more.
Recently, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in his Power On newsletter, said Apple is increasing the display size of the larger iPad Pro from 12.9 inches to 13-inches. Besides that, it’s unclear if Apple will change the aluminum finish of this tablet or if it will have any other design change.
Front facing camera should have a new spot
With the tenth-generation iPad, Apple switched the front-facing camera from the top to the center of its right side. This change improves how users appear on a video call, as people have been using the iPad more in horizontal mode rather than vertical.
If Apple changes the 2024 iPad Pro, video calls will look more natural when the iPad is connected to the Magic Keyboard; also, Center Stage is still expected to be a feature of this new tablet.
At the moment, it’s unclear if Apple will improve the TrueDepth system on the new iPad Pro or if it will have the same specs as the 2022 model.
Since Apple redesigned the iPad Pro in 2018, it has offered both Space Gray and Silver models, just like the high-end MacBook Pro. In previous years, Apple has also provided this iPad in gold and rose gold options, but it’s unclear if this high-end model could offer more colors again.
At the moment, it seems that “fun” colors will be prioritized in other iPad lines, such as the base and Air versions.
The M3 chip should power the 2024 iPad Pro
Since Apple finished introducing the latest M2 chips with the Mac Pro and Mac Studio during the WWDC 2023 keynote, we focus on the M3 processor, which could have the first batch of products announced later in October.
At the moment, it’s expected that this processor will power the 13-inch MacBook Pro, 13-inch MacBook Air, an entry-level Mac mini, and a new iteration of the 24-inch iMac. Unlike the M2 processor, the M3 should have a more impressive spec bump, as it’s expected to feature a new 3nm technology process.
If that turns out to be accurate, the M3 chip could once again raise the bar of how fast “entry-level” processors should be. In addition, if Apple follows the trend, the 2024 iPad Pro will likely have this chip, making the new iPad even more powerful than it currently is.
At the moment, it’s unclear if Apple could add 16GB of RAM for more storage options or if it’s planning to switch the current storage options available. At the moment, here are the specs of the high-end iPad:
- 128GB with 8GB of RAM
- 256GB with 8GB of RAM
- 512GB with 8GB of RAM
- 1TB with 16GB of RAM
- 2TB with 16GB of RAM
Will there be camera upgrades to the 2024 iPad Pro?
The iPad Pro usually has cameras on pair with the latest iPhone releases. If Apple follows the trend, these are a few improvements we could see with the upcoming iPad:
- A 48MP main camera
- Ultra Wide lens with 12MP
- Smart HDR 4 + Photonigh Engine
- Cinematic Mode with new recording options
- Action Mode
- Autofocus on the front-facing camera
We’ll update this section when we learn about the upcoming camera specs.
Accessories: Magic Keyboard is getting a revamp
In a Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman said Apple is redesigning the Magic Keyboard. “The new accessory makes the iPad Pro look even more like a laptop than the current setup and adds a larger trackpad.”
Currently, Magic Keyboard users complain it’s bulkier and drains the iPad’s battery really fast. In addition, its extra USB-C port has slow tech compared to the iPad Pro’s Thunderbolt port. Since this accessory is expensive, we hope Apple makes it lighter and less power-consuming.
In addition, a larger trackpad could help users navigate through the system. At the moment, it’s unclear if a new Apple Pencil is in the works.
iPadOS 17 will power the 2024 iPad Pro
iPadOS 17 will power the upcoming iPad Pro. Even though there are a few new features, this operating system doesn’t unlock the true potential of this hardware. Here are the critical points of this system:
- New Lock Screen: iPadOS 17’s new Lock Screen resembles the one available for iOS 16. It also introduces Live Activities support and adds widgets to this screen;
- Stage Manager: It offers a more flexible layout when moving and resizing windows (especially with an external display), so you can set up your workspace just how you want it. In addition, you can use the built-in camera in your external display for FaceTime and conference calls for the first time;
- Freeform: Adds new drawing tools, such as a watercolor brush, calligraphy pen, highlighter, variable-width pen, and ruler. With Shape Recognition, users can hand draw a shape like a square and watch a perfect version snap into place.
There’s so much more coming with iPadOS 17, but more multitasking features may come with the iPadOS 18 software update.
The 2024 iPad Pro should be released in early 2024. Mark Gurman expects this device to be introduced between a spring event and WWDC 2024.
It’s unclear if the new features will make the iPad Pro more expensive. Currently, Apple charges a bit more on the 12.9-inch model due to its miniLED display. Cupertino could make the 11-inch model more costly while making the 13-inch option more affordable.
These are the current prices for the 128GB iPad models:
- The 11-inch model starts at $799
- The 12.9-inch model starts at $1,099
Apple, LG Display, and Samsung Display are discussing the supply price of OLED panels for iPads scheduled to be released next year at around $270 for the 11-inch model and $350 for the 13-inch model. The supply price of OLED panels for existing IT products in the early 10-inch range is around $100-150.
The publication says Apple will pay more for the new 2024 iPad Pro OLED panel because it will introduce new processes not found in existing products, such as a two-stack tandem structure, an LTPO thin film transistor, and a hybrid OLED structure. That said, industry analysts believe supply prices are bound to rise because of this new process.
Of course, we’ll only know for sure once Apple announces this new tablet. BGR will keep updating this article as we learn more about this product in the future.