Synonymous with the tablet form factor, Apple’s versatile iPad range is set for a big shakeup soon, with new devices expected to arrive by the end of March. Alongside the tablets, the MacBook Air will soon get the latest M3 processor.
On the hardware side of things, new iPads and MacBook Airs are nearly here. As reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, iPad Pros and MacBook Airs equipped with Apple’s latest M3 chip have hit production lines. They’re expected to launch by late March, meaning an official announcement is just around the corner.
MacBook Air M3 and iPads to usher in big changes
Although the current tablet range, including the iPad Air and M2 iPad Pros, are great devices, tablet fatigue has set in among consumers. IDC figures from November 2023 indicated that worldwide tablet shipments dropped by 14.2% year-on-year. Apple still leads Samsung, its nearest competitor, by a sizable margin, but there’s less demand overall.
As tipped by Gurman, the iPad Pro will get “its first major overhaul in half a decade”. In addition to wielding the more powerful M3 processor, the Pro line-up will feature OLED displays, moving away from Mini LED technology.
Some competing tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, already use OLED. It means that Apple’s high-end tablets will benefit from better contrast and colour representation – great for digital artists who use iPad-exclusive apps like Procreate and Dreams.
More hints lie within the release notes for the iOS 17.4 beta, referencing new iPad peripherals. Chief among them is an upgraded Magic Keyboard designed to offer more laptop functionality, aided by an expanded trackpad. The M3 iPad Pros may also have a landscape Face ID camera.
Gurman also reported that a new iPad Air is on the way, updating the existing M1 model. At the same time, M3 versions of both the 13 and 15-inch MacBook Air laptops are imminent. Apple first introduced the larger 15-inch model at WWDC 2023, equipped with the M2 chip.
Keep an eye out for official announcements in the coming weeks, as Bloomberg’s reporting is usually on the money.