The big picture: Apple is hoping a major overhaul of its premium iPad Pro will help reverse sluggish tablet sales. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, next year's iPad Pro will arrive with some meaningful upgrades in tow and could finally give holdouts a compelling reason to upgrade.
The slates will reportedly be powered by Apple's own M3 chip and be the company's first to ship with OLED displays, which have been present on iPhone models since the iPhone X debuted in 2017.
The new iPad Pro will be offered in your choice of 11-inch or 13-inch screen sizes. For comparison, the current iPad Pro lineup consists of 11-inch and 12.9-inch models. Sources claim the iPads will be accompanied by an updated Magic Keyboard accessory with a larger trackpad that will make the combo look even more like a notebook.
iPad sales have not exactly impressed as of late. According to Apple's latest financial report, sales from the division were down nearly 20 percent in the most recent quarter compared to the same period a year earlier. In fact, it was Apple's lowest performing category.
As Gurman correctly highlights, tablet sales in general have been in a slump following the sales surge brought about by the pandemic. What's more, recent models have only delivered incremental updates (the last major overhaul was in 2018) so many haven't had a compelling reason to upgrade.
Tablets like the iPad increasingly have to compete with large-screen smartphones. Apple's own iPhone Pro Max line features a 6.7-inch display, and foldables from rivals like Samsung are far larger when unfurled. With such big phones on the market, some consumers are no doubt questioning where a tablet might fit into their life.
Apple's updated iPad Pro model is not expected to make an appearance at next month's fall iPhone event, or even before the end of the year. Sources tell Gurman the updated iPad Pro likely won't debut until next spring or perhaps in early summer 2024.