Revamped iPad Pro in the works as Apple aims to revitalize tablet market

Pranav Bhardwaj

In an effort to give new strength to the tablet market facing a slump, Apple Inc. is diligently working on a significant overhaul of its iPad Pro, according to a Bloomberg post, with plans to release the revamped device next year. The tablet market, which includes Apple’s iPad category, has experienced a prolonged period of decline, prompting the tech giant to take action.

Once envisioned as a possible successor to traditional computers like Macs, iPads are now generating the least revenue among Apple’s major product segments. The most recent quarter saw sales dip to their lowest point since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020. Furthermore, data from IDC reveals a 17% drop in iPad unit shipments during the second quarter. Apple attributed some of this decline to a tough year-over-year comparison due to the launch of a new iPad Air in the previous year. However, a broader issue is evident.

Tablet sales across the board have slumped since the initial surge driven by the pandemic. This trend is not exclusive to Apple; even major manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics and Lenovo Group have experienced declines. Consumer interest in purchasing or upgrading tablets has waned, partly due to the popularity of larger-screen smartphones that render tablets less necessary.

Apple’s opportunity for revitalization comes in the form of an extensively revamped iPad Pro, set for release next year. This will mark the first significant update to the iPad Pro since its 2018 redesign. The upcoming iPad Pro models, with codenames J717, J718, J720, and J721, will feature the next-generation M3 chip and adopt OLED displays, akin to those used in iPhones since the 2017 iPhone X model. These screens offer improved crispness, brightness, and color accuracy.

The new models will maintain the 11-inch and 13-inch sizes, similar to the existing lineup, while the larger model will keep its 12.9-inch dimensions. A refreshed Magic Keyboard will accompany the new iPad Pro, featuring enhancements that make the device resemble a laptop more closely and incorporate a larger trackpad.

While the new iPad Pro models are expected to boost iPad sales, their impact might not be immediately evident. These models are not anticipated to be part of Apple’s forthcoming launch event, which will concentrate on unveiling the iPhone and Apple Watch. Instead, the new iPad Pro is projected to debut in the spring or early summer of next year. Minor updates for Apple’s other tablets are likely to precede this launch.

In other Apple-related news, the company’s significant iPhone event is scheduled for September 12th, showcasing the 2023 iPhone and Apple Watch releases. The event structure, similar to the iPhone 14 launch, will feature prerecorded online presentations alongside an in-person event at Apple’s headquarters. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore the new iPhone 15 and Apple Watch after the presentation.

As the launch date nears, Apple is putting the finishing touches on its software updates. The seventh betas of iOS 17 and watchOS 10 have been released, hinting at an imminent public launch. These updates are expected to enhance the software’s polish and responsiveness, ensuring a smooth user experience. While the sixth beta version of macOS Sonoma has also been made available, a public release may be anticipated around October.