Apple iPad Pro (M3, 2024) rumours: What's the story so far?
It’s been a while since Apple dropped a new iPad Pro, with the most recent model being the iPad Pro M2 that arrived in October 2022. There’s no sign of a new model dropping any time in 2023 either, but will we see an updated iPad Pro in 2024? If so, what will it look like, what will it be running on, and when can we get our hands on it? We’ve been keeping our ears to the ground to find out all the gossip around the Apple iPad Pro M3. Here’s what we’ve learned so far and what you might be able to expect from Apple’s next flagship tablet.
The price of the iPad Pro M3 is difficult to gauge. That’s because, if the rumours are to be believed, there’s going to be a larger 12.9-inch iPad Air launched in 2024. With the 10.9-inch iPad Air currently starting from $599, the new 12.9-inch iPad Air is likely to be close to the $799 price of the current iPad Pro 11-inch. In order to differentiate the iPad Pro from the iPad Air, it’s likely that the price of the iPad Pro M3 will increase above the price of the current iPad Pro models.
This year is swiftly passing, with no sign of a new iPad Pro. If we were going to see one announced, it would likely have been at Apple’s Scary Fast event at the end of October when the new iMac and MacBook Pro were both revealed. All the indications are therefore that 2024 is the year when the new iPad Pro M3 will make an appearance. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes that Apple won’t launch new iPads until March 2024, and this may only be for minor refreshes rather than the major iPad updates. With analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stating that the new iPad Pro models are scheduled for mass production in the first half of 2024, we may need to wait until later in 2024 to finally get our hands on one.
Not a great deal is known about the design of the iPad Pro M3; there haven’t been any major leaks of what the new iPad may look like. However, there is one thing that does seem to be likely: the new iPad Pro won’t look like the old one. Both Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman have indicated that the iPad Pro M3 will feature an updated design. It’s hard to predict where Apple might take the design - it’s not exactly a bad one currently. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the bezels slim down a little, and you never know, the material of choice might move away from aluminium. Could we see a titanium iPad Pro matching the likes of the iPhone 15 Pro models for example? One thing we suspect will happen is the repositioning of the front camera to the same as the iPad (10th generation). It makes more sense when it comes to video calling and given the iPad Pro models are typically designed to be used in a landscape orientation, whether drawing, watching or working, a landscape front camera makes sense. Elsewhere, we expect to see a super slim body - a little lighter would be nice - and we expect USB-C for charging and Face ID to remain onboard.
The display of the iPad Pro M3 is one area where rumours have been flying, and the story has changed a lot over the past couple of years. In June 2022, display analyst Ross Young tweeted that the new iPad Pro would feature mini-LEDs and ProMotion. By July 2022, he’d rowed back on that position and indicated that he believed that the next iPad Pro would not have mini-LED tech. Then in October 2022, he dropped an update indicating that the iPad Pros would in fact have OLED displays just like you find on modern iPhones. This position has also been backed up by Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo, which makes it a pretty safe bet that the iPad Pro is going to be rocking an OLED display, something that we believe could make the new model a real winner.
There’s one thing that’s almost guaranteed for the new iPad Pro models, and that’s that they’ll be running on Apple’s M3 chip. The M3 chips were first introduced in October 2023 as the power behind the iMac 24-inch, the MacBook Pro 14-inch, and the MacBook Pro 16-inch. With the previous iPad Pro already running on an M2 chip, the new models are most likely to run on the base M3 chip, rather than the M3 Pro or M3 Max. Ming-Chi Kuo supported the idea that the new models will feature the M3 processor, and it makes sense, so we’d be surprised to see anything else under the hood. The other big debate around the iPad Pro has been the size options. Since 2021, there have been rumours swirling about Apple working on a 14-inch iPad, and for a long time it was believed that this would be a new model of iPad Pro. However, talk of a 14-inch iPad Pro gradually quietened down, and it seems unlikely that a new, larger iPad Pro will appear next year. Instead, it’s most likely that Apple will stick with the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models that have served it so well to date. Whether we see a 14-inch iPad Pro in the future remains to be seen. Will an iPad Pro with a screen the same size as a MacBook cut into MacBook sales, or is there a market for both?
This is everything we have heard so far about the iPad Pro (M3, 2024).