If you're planning to buy a new iPad this Black Friday, make sure you get a good deal: every single one of Apple's tablets is going to be updated in 2024, so you don't want to be paying top dollar for Apple's best tablets right now.
The news comes via our old friend Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, who reports that while Apple did consider rushing out some new models before the end of 2023 they just weren't ready in time. So now, Apple plans to update "its entire iPad lineup" in 2024.
Even if Gurman weren't hearing that from sources inside Apple, it'd be a safe prediction to make: the iPad mini hasn't had an update since 2021, and the rest of the iPad range hasn't been updated since 2022. That's a long time in tech.
So what can we expect to see in 2024?
What iPads will Apple launch in 2024?
Apple currently has four and a half iPad model ranges: the iPad mini, which is the small version of the iPad Air; the iPad Air, which is the best iPad for most people; the iPad Pro, which is the most powerful and expensive range; and the plain old iPad, which is currently available in two generations: the 9th and 10th. The first change Apple is likely to make is to stop selling two versions of the entry-level iPad.
We'd expect to see processor improvements across the range. The cheapest of the current iPads, the 9th generation iPad, has the A13 Bionic that dates back to the iPhone 11; the 10th generation has the slightly newer A14. That's behind even the iPhone SE, Apple's cheapest iPhone, which runs the A15. So it's a safe bet that the A13-powered iPad will meet its maker in 2024 and that the new entry level will have an A15 at worst.
Further up the range, the iPad mini has the A15, the iPad Air has the M1 and the iPad Pros have the M2. That's five different processor generations, which is overly complex by Apple's usual standards: by comparison the MacBook line, including the Air as well as the Pro, runs M1, M2 and M3 processors. A similar selection for Apple's more serious iPads would make a lot of sense.
Rumours suggest that we could see the first tranche of updated iPads as soon as March 2024, with M3-powered OLED iPad Pros later the same year.