Big iPad announcement happening tonight: when to tune in

Apple iPad 2024 event
Image: Apple.

Apple is set to announce a major overhaul to its iPad range tonight, with an online event scheduled for late-night Australian time.

“Let Loose” is the event’s tagline, accompanied by an Apple Pencil drawing a stylised version of the company’s logo. It lines up with credible industry reports from earlier in the year predicting major overhauls to the iPad Air and iPad Pro devices.

It’s expected the pro-level tablets will adopt OLED display technology, similar to that used by the Samsung Galaxy Tab 9 range. Plus, the new M3 chip used by the latest MacBook Air will feature prominently.

Less is known about the iPad Air update, with the existing model now more than two years old. Whether the 2024 version gets an M2 chip or leapfrogs to the M3 processor remains to be seen.

In Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman’s weekly newsletter, the tech reporter claimed that iPad Air stock is drying up across stores. It’s an indication that the new model will replace the M1 version entirely, instead of being sold concurrently.

Whatever the specifics of Apple’s event, it’s facing an uphill battle in the face of a stagnant tablet market. 2023 was the worst year for tablet sales since 2011, according to data from analytics firm IDC. Last year saw 128.5 million tablets ship worldwide, down 20.5% from 2022.

There is a glimmer of hope though, with sales expected to rebound in 2024. The latest figures indicate a slight uptick to start the year. Despite tablets not selling well in recent times, Apple remains the most popular tablet brand by a considerable margin over its long-time rival Samsung.

How to watch the Apple “Let Loose” iPad event

Live on Apple’s website and the Apple TV app, the new iPad reveal takes place on 7 May at 7 AM Pacific Time. That makes it a fairly late one for most Aussies, as per the following times:

  • Perth: 7 May @ 10 PM
  • Adelaide: 7 May @ 11:30 PM
  • Sydney / Melbourne / Hobart / Brisbane / Canberra: 8 May @ midnight

Not long after this event, Apple has its major annual WWDC keynote on 10 June, where it’s expected to discuss generative AI features as part of the next major software updates.

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