We last got an iPad Pro refresh in October 2022, when the premium 11-inch and 12.9-inch slates were updated with the Apple M2 processor. According to the rumor mill, those screens will be changing in 2024 when the next models are due to appear.
This comes from display analyst Ross Young, speaking to MacRumors (opens in new tab). First, the display technology will apparently be changing from the IPS LCD LED (11-inch) and IPS LCD mini-LED (12.9-inch) of the current iPad Pros to OLED – just like the flagship iPhones.
That should mean even better screens in terms of contrast and darker blacks, though the panels attached to the current iPad Pro range are already impressive. We’ve been hearing rumors that Apple would switch to OLED on its iPads for some time now.
There’s also going to be a change in the display sizes, Young says. The 11-inch iPad Pro will become an 11.1-inch iPad Pro, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will become a 13-inch iPad Pro – not much of a difference then, but one that’s worth noting.
It’s possible that Apple is going to be able to shrink the bezels on these two premium iPads, so the overall dimensions of the slates would stay the same while the displays get slightly bigger. OLED panels can mean thinner and lighter devices as well.
Additionally, despite earlier leaks suggesting that Apple was working on a super-sized iPad Pro, that’s apparently no longer on the way according to Young. It seems that for the next iteration at least, Apple is going to stick to the two sizes we’ve talked about.
Analysis: making the iPad Pros more Pro
The iPad Pros have always been high-end luxury devices for those with big budgets who need as much power as possible: bear in mind that the entry-level iPad (yours for $449 / £499 / AU$749) does basically everything that the more expensive models do.
Once the switch to OLED is made, that will be another differentiator that will help to justify the high price of the iPad Pro models. Whether these slates will cost the same remains to be seen – but we’re assuming that’s what Apple is going to aim for.
The change in size is less interesting, though Apple clearly wants to keep a large iPad Pro in its range. As well as offering more screen space, it helps to give buyers a reason to consider one of the more expensive tablets rather than the iPad Air.
With these updated tablets apparently getting launched in 2024, it could be a quiet 2023 in terms of Apple tablets. That might give its competitors time to catch up, but it also means there should be a substantial performance boost when the new iPad Pros do appear.