OLED, release date, worth, options, accessories

Mike Powers
OLED, release date, worth, options, accessories


Apple is expected to announce a new iPad Pro in the next few weeks. After a mild M2 update in late 2022, rumors indicate a significant refresh coming to Apple’s high-end tablets this year. Here’s everything we know about it.

Release date

The new iPad Pro should be released in early 2024. Mark Gurman expects this device to be introduced in late March or early April. In his Power On newsletter, he said: “Well, I’m told that a special version of iOS 17.4 with support for the new hardware is scheduled for the end of the month. So I’d expect the devices to arrive sometime in March or April.” He then shared that this release could be expected by April since it will take a couple of weeks until Apple installs this software in the iPad models in the factories. Chinese leakers expect this tablet to be announced on March 26.

OLED panel production started in February 2024. While Apple has enough 13-inch displays by now, it’s lagging behind with 11-inch screens. It’s been reported that LG is trying to help Samsung, but it has delayed production.

While we keep asking where the new OLED iPad Pro and iPad Air 6 are, we might have to wait a little longer until Apple announces them.

Design: Apple embraces OLED displays

iPad Pro (2022) Display Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

After differentiating both iPad Pro models by their display (LCD for the 11-inch model and miniLED for the 12.9-inch version), Apple is said to see the same panel technology for the different screen sizes.

Actually, of all the rumors, this is the one we have heard the most about during the lifecycle of the 2022 iPad Pro. In October last year, DSCC’s Ross Young predicted that both iPad Pro models would have an OLED display in 2024.

According to him, Apple is making this switch because “costs are falling,” OLED performance is improving thanks to tandem stacks and phosphorescent blue emitters. Besides Young, many other analysts reinforced that OLED is coming to the new iPad, such as The Elec, Omdia, Bloomberg, and more.

Recently, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in his Power On newsletter, said Apple is increasing the display size of the larger iPad Pro from 12.9 inches to 13-inches. Besides that, it’s unclear if Apple will change the aluminum finish of this tablet or if it will have any other design change.

These are the dimensions for the new iPad Pro

A 9to5Mac‘s accessory maker source revealed the possible dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, showing they will get thinner but slightly bigger.

  • 11-inch iPad Pro: 249.7 mm x 177.5 mm x 5.1 mm / previously: 247.6 mm x 178.5 mm x 5.9 mm
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro: 281.5 mm x 215.5 mm x 5.0 mm / previously: 280.6 mm 214.9 mm x 6.4 mm

With these models getting thinner, we worry they could be more bendable or the battery could be compromised somehow.

Front facing camera should have a new spot

iPad 10

With the tenth-generation iPad, Apple switched the front-facing camera from the top to the center of its right side. This change improves how users appear on a video call, as people have been using the iPad more in horizontal mode rather than vertical.

 9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito discovered iOS 17.4 hints at a new iPad with a landscape Face ID camera. While BGR has already corroborated that Apple would be expanding the iPad 10 look to more tablets, Espósito could confirm this possible change through new strings added in the first beta of iOS 17.4.

According to him, iOS 17.4 beta files suggest that Apple is working on an iPad with a TrueDepth camera (an iPad Pro) placed at the top when it is in landscape orientation. Since previous iPad Pros had the front-face camera at the top when the tablet was in portrait mode, this suggests the new iPad will offer this helpful tweak.

With this change, it would be easier to participate in video call conferences, as iPad users usually have their tablets in landscape orientation most of the time. In addition, the iOS setup process has been rewritten, according to the journalist. “Face ID needs to be in landscape to learn how to recognize you,” says a new system string. “During Face ID setup, iPad needs to be in landscape with the camera at the top of the screen. Once setup is complete, Face ID works in portrait and landscape,” another message reads.

With this change, video calls will look more natural when the iPad is connected to the Magic Keyboard; also, Center Stage is still expected to be a feature of this new tablet.

At the moment, it’s unclear if Apple will improve the TrueDepth system on the new iPad Pro or if it will have the same specs as the 2022 model.

Color options

Since Apple redesigned the iPad Pro in 2018, it has offered both Space Gray and Silver models, just like the high-end MacBook Pro. In previous years, Apple has also provided this iPad in gold and rose gold options, but it’s unclear if this high-end model could offer more colors again.

At the moment, it seems that “fun” colors will be prioritized in other iPad lines, such as the base and Air versions. But a space black color might not be discarded after the introduction of new M3 MacBook Pro models.

The M3 chip should power the 2024 iPad Pro

iPad Pro M2

With all M2 Macs announced, Apple is now moving forward to the M3 chips. In October, the company announced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max variants of the new family, which currently powers the MacBook Pro models.

The base model offers up to 24GB of RAM and an 8-core CPU (4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, up to 35% faster than M1 and up to 20% faster than M2). It offers a 10-core GPU, up to 65% faster than M1 and up to 20% faster than M2

If Apple follows the trend, Apple could add the M3 chip to the 2024 iPad Pro, unlocking new GPU capabilities, such as hardware ray-tracing, and more.

Lastly, it’s unclear if Apple could add 16GB of RAM for more storage options or if it’s planning to switch the current storage options available. At the moment, here are the specs of the high-end iPad:

  • 128GB with 8GB of RAM
  • 256GB with 8GB of RAM
  • 512GB with 8GB of RAM
  • 1TB with 16GB of RAM
  • 2TB with 16GB of RAM

Will there be camera upgrades to the 2024 iPad Pro?

Apple iPad Pro CameraImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The iPad Pro usually has cameras on pair with the latest iPhone releases. If Apple follows the trend, these are a few improvements we could see with the upcoming iPad:

  • A 48MP main camera
  • Ultra Wide lens with 12MP
  • Smart HDR 5 + Photonic Engine
  • Cinematic Mode with new recording options
  • Action Mode
  • Autofocus on the front-facing camera

In addition, Apple could add Spatial Video support, as the new iPhone 15 Pro also has it. This feature lets users capture videos with depth, which could be later shown on Apple Vision Pro.

Another function Apple could bring to this tablet is log-encoded video support, another feature of the latest iPhone release.

Accessories

Apple might be planning to revamp both of iPad Pro’s accessories:

Magic Keyboard is getting a revamp

Apple iPad Pro Keyboard
Apple iPad Pro Keyboard. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

In a Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman said Apple is redesigning the Magic Keyboard. “The new accessory makes the iPad Pro look even more like a laptop than the current setup and adds a larger trackpad.”

Currently, Magic Keyboard users complain it’s bulkier and drains the iPad’s battery really fast. In addition, its extra USB-C port has slow tech compared to the iPad Pro’s Thunderbolt port. Since this accessory is expensive, we hope Apple makes it lighter and less power-consuming.

In addition, a larger trackpad could help users navigate through the system. At the moment, it’s unclear if a new Apple Pencil is in the works. The journalist corroborated this report in December.

Apple Pencil 3 with interchangeable tips

According to X leaker Majin Bu, Apple is readying the Apple Pencil 3 with interchangeable magnetic tips. They say Cupertino will bet on a tip for drawing, one for technical drawing, and one for painting.

It’s unclear if this accessory will solve an issue where the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil drains the battery of the iPad Pro when placed on it, but interestingly, Apple might be planning to update this five-year-old accessory.

In October, Cupertino unveiled a USB-C Apple Pencil. It’s not as good as the 2nd-gen model, but Mark Gurman believes a third-generation is also in the works for the new iPad despite this release.

In addition, Filipe Espósito discovered that Apple is working on enabling the Find My feature for this accessory. Although it’s unclear at this moment if this Pencil will work like a MagSafe Wallet or AirTag, at least iPadOS will always remind you when you attach the Pencil from your iPad.

That said, Apple Pencil 3 needs this upgrade to be a better iPad accessory.

iPadOS 17 will power the 2024 iPad Pro

Interactive widgets on iPad via iPadOS 17.
Interactive widgets on iPad via iPadOS 17. Image source: Apple Inc.

iPadOS 17 will power the upcoming iPad Pro. Even though there are a few new features, this operating system doesn’t unlock the true potential of this hardware. Here are the critical points of this system:

  • New Lock Screen: iPadOS 17’s new Lock Screen resembles the one available for iOS 16. It also introduces Live Activities support and adds widgets to this screen;
  • Stage Manager: It offers a more flexible layout when moving and resizing windows (especially with an external display), so you can set up your workspace just how you want it. In addition, you can use the built-in camera in your external display for FaceTime and conference calls for the first time;
  • Freeform: Adds new drawing tools, such as a watercolor brush, calligraphy pen, highlighter, variable-width pen, and ruler. With Shape Recognition, users can hand draw a shape like a square and watch a perfect version snap into place.

There’s so much more availble with iPadOS 17, but more multitasking and generative AI features may come with the iPadOS 18 software update.

Battery and MagSafe charging

Apple MagSafe iPhone ChargerImage source: Maren Estrada for BGR

At the moment, it’s unclear if Apple is going to improve the battery of the next iPad Pro. For the past releases, the company continues to promote a 10-hour battery. Interestingly, MacRumors believes Apple will add MagSafe charging support. The publication quotes people familiar with the matter.

This isn’t the first time Apple is rumored to add MagSafe charging for the iPad. In 2021, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said Cupertino considered adding a back glass to the 2022 iPad Pro, but the company decided to scrap these plans as the tablet would become more fragile.

Adding a glass back – even if in just a part of the tablet – would bring new possibilities for Apple’s tablets, but it’s unclear at this moment if this change could ever happen.

Price

It’s unclear if the new features will make the iPad Pro more expensive. Currently, Apple charges a bit more on the 12.9-inch model due to its miniLED display. Cupertino could make the 11-inch model more costly while making the 13-inch option more affordable.

These are the current prices for the 128GB iPad models:

  • The 11-inch model starts at $799
  • The 12.9-inch model starts at $1,099

That said, The Korean version of The Elec says that Apple will pay up to three times more for the OLED panel than the ones used by its competitors today.

Apple, LG Display, and Samsung Display are discussing the supply price of OLED panels for iPads scheduled to be released next year at around $270 for the 11-inch model and $350 for the 13-inch model. The supply price of OLED panels for existing IT products in the early 10-inch range is around $100-150.

The publication says Apple will pay more for the new 2024 iPad Pro OLED panel because it will introduce new processes not found in existing products, such as a two-stack tandem structure, an LTPO thin film transistor, and a hybrid OLED structure. That said, industry analysts believe supply prices are bound to rise because of this new process.

Another sketch leak suggests Apple could charge $1,500 for the 11-inch model and up to $2,000 for the 13-inch version. It’s important to note that these could be the entry price of these tablets, which seems absurd.

Luckily, DigiTimes believes the price increase will be around $160, which means the 11-inch model will still cost under $1,000 while the 13-inch version could have a  $1,200 and $1,300 starting price.

Of course, we’ll only know for sure once Apple announces this new iPad Pro. BGR will keep updating this article as we learn more about this product in the future.



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