Apple’s 2024 iPad plans leaked — and they sound bad

Trending 2 months ago
A person's limb holding an Apple iPad Air 2020.Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

As 2023 is astir to wrap up, we tin decidedly opportunity it’s been a peculiar 1 for Apple’s iPad lineup. Why? Because location were zero caller iPad releases this year, which is simply a spot … odd. This is nan first clip that Apple has not released a caller merchandise successful nan iPad lineup since it was introduced.

But a caller study from Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter complete nan play seems to springiness america a look astatine what Apple’s iPad plans are for 2024. A fewer weeks ago, I talked astir really nan iPad lineup arsenic a full has gotten messy and convoluted. This caller study takes some a measurement guardant toward simplifying things while besides featuring an absorbing summation that I’m not judge who asked for.

Much-needed simplification

Apple iPad Gen 10 pinch nan charismatic keyboard accessory.Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

One of nan large factors contributing to an overly analyzable iPad lineup has been that Apple has kept nan 9th-generation modular iPad astir contempt besides having nan newer 10th-generation model. Having 2 different guidelines exemplary iPads is confusing, particularly erstwhile they person different surface sizes, different charging ports, and 1 has a Home fastener while nan different does not.

Usually, erstwhile Apple introduces a caller procreation of a product, it is meant to switch nan erstwhile one. This has been nan lawsuit for galore years for nan iPhone, iPad, Mac, and nan Apple Watch. But erstwhile Apple decided to person nan 9th-generation iPad instrumentality astir alongside nan caller one, it was a puzzling move that besides put nan 10th-generation iPad successful an overseas placement wrong nan remainder of nan iPad lineup owed to its features and value point.

Per Gurman’s report, Apple will trim nan guidelines exemplary iPad to conscionable 1 caller 11th-generation exemplary adjacent year. I judge this is what Apple should person done pinch nan existent procreation because having nan older 9th-generation exemplary instrumentality astir pinch outdated features was conscionable a weird choice.

Of course, this is still speculation, and we won’t cognize for judge until Apple really announces it. But having conscionable a azygous guidelines exemplary iPad is decidedly nan measurement to go, and it would beryllium 1 measurement guardant successful making nan iPad lineup little analyzable than it needs to be.

One measurement forward, 1 measurement back

The iPad Pro (2022) sitting successful nan Magic Keyboard.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I applaud Apple if it is going to conscionable person a azygous guidelines introduction iPad successful nan lineup. But nan rumor doesn’t extremity there. Apparently, different anticipation for nan 2024 iPad lineup will see a 12.9-inch iPad Air model. This will beryllium successful summation to nan 10.9-inch iPad Air size, arsenic good arsenic nan 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

According to Gurman, Apple wants to alleviate nan disorder betwixt nan iPad Air and iPad Pro by introducing OLED displays, a refreshed design, nan M3 chip, and a revamped Magic Keyboard for nan higher-end models, which would beryllium nan iPad Pro.

The iPad statement has been a spot of a analyzable beast for a while now and needs simplification. But adding a larger iPad Air exemplary conscionable makes it moreover much confusing. Exactly who has asked for this?

The yellowish iPad (2022) lying face-down connected a greenish bush.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

From nan looks of it, a 12.9-inch iPad Air would apt not person a ProMotion display. On a smaller screen, specified arsenic an iPhone 15, not having a 120Hz refresh complaint is not ace noticeable for astir people. However, pinch a larger display, nan quality tin beryllium overmuch much noticeable, arsenic scrolling and transitions won’t beryllium arsenic soft compared pinch a 120Hz display.

The refresh complaint tin beryllium an important facet for definite people, for illustration artists, who request a surface that refreshes much each 2nd (60 times a 2nd versus 120 makes a large difference) for a soft and precise experience. On apical of that, artists and different creators worth larger surface estate. When you return those factors into consideration, I don’t spot why personification who wants an iPad pinch nan largest surface besides wants it to autumn short by not having nan absolute champion show possible. It conscionable doesn’t adhd up.

Even now, nan existent 11-inch iPad Pro feels for illustration nan disfigured duckling, arsenic it offers nan aforesaid powerfulness arsenic its larger sibling, but successful a much portable package while besides lacking nan XDR show of nan 12.9-inch model. If you adhd a 12.9-inch iPad Air to nan mix, it conscionable makes nan full lineup confusing erstwhile more. And again, are nan group who want aliases request nan absolute largest show going to want thing beneath 120Hz ProMotion? I don’t deliberation so.

It’s clip to rethink nan full iPad lineup

Apps connected nan original iPad.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

While we conscionable talked astir imaginable changes for nan iPad merchandise lineup, nan accessories are besides a mess. The Power On study besides suggested that Apple could differentiate betwixt a ample iPad Air and iPad Pro pinch a new, redesigned Magic Keyboard that only useful pinch nan iPad Pro, not nan iPad Air, pinch nan Air perchance only being compatible pinch existent Magic Keyboard accessories. Confused yet?

The full iPad merchandise class has been a messiness for a while now, and they fundamentally each do nan aforesaid point pinch iPadOS. I don’t judge that an iPad could ever hit nan afloat desktop acquisition that you’d get pinch an existent computer, astatine slightest pinch nan existent authorities of iPadOS.

For nan astir part, you could do most of nan things that you’d want to do connected a top-of-the-line 12.9-inch iPad Pro pinch a cheaper exemplary (unless you request nan retention space). It conscionable doesn’t make consciousness to adhd different size for nan middle-tier exemplary because it’s not needed and, again, who was asking for it? I surely wasn’t.

The iPad started retired elemental erstwhile Steve Jobs introduced it backmost successful 2010. Just a azygous iPad for everyone. Then we sewage nan iPad mini, past nan iPad Air, and yet nan iPad Pro. It’s gotten retired of manus astatine this point, and it’s clip to cleanable it up again — not adhd different unnecessary caller size for a midlevel model.

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