Apple's Let Loose Event For iPad And Pencil 3: When And What To Expect

Apple has an upcoming event on May 7th, and it has laid out a few hints as to what we can expect. With the very obvious message by Tim Cook stating "Pencil us in for May 7th," there is no ambiguity here. While we'd fully expect a new version of the Apple Pencil, the real star of the show will likely be an entourage of new iPad devices. 

The existing iPad Pro, with its fast Apple Silicon M2 chip, has been gracing us with its presence for a few years without a further update. The Apple Vision Pro was launched in the interim, with potential iPad-replacing usability. That has not yet come to fruition, with reports of less than expected demand for the pricey spatial computing device putting a damper on mass adoption. Some users are hopeful the new Apple Pencil may have some compatibility with the Vision Pro, but that remains speculative. 

ipad pro
The existing iPad Pro
Here is what the rumor mill has told us to expect in the new iPad products. Firstly, the flagship iPad Pro will get an entirely new screen with OLED. This is in lieu of its existing mini LED display, which is available only on the 12.9 inch version. Supposedly, the high-end display will also make its way to the smaller iPad Pro, which currently is in the 10.9 inch model. 

One change we can likely expect with this new upgraded display will be an overall increase in price for the device. Other expected changes will be overall better HDR support, contrast, and less blooming as found on mini LED. As OLED can be prone to burn in, Apple likely has taken that into account and will mitigate for any issues. 

An internal hardware upgrade is also likely, potentially using the new Apple Silicon M3 chips to replace the M2 currently in iPad Pro. While the Apple Pencil is an obvious accessory update to iPad Pro, a newly designed keyboard case is also slated to be in the works. It may match the more svelte design expected of new iPad Pros, and potentially even be more MacBook-like. 

A new iPad Air is also expected at the May 7th event by Apple. The biggest news here is that it is likely to come in the larger 12.9 inch size, similar to the existing iPad Pro. It was first rumored to have a mini LED display, but it seems more likely it will be an LCD display.  A cheaper priced iPad Air will make sense in the lineup if the OLED models are to see a price increase. Other iPads such as the Mini are not expected to be refresh yet, however. 

tim cook

The upcoming iOS 18, planned for a release later in the year, should have some new AI goodies baked in. While the iPhone will be the focal point of many of these adaptations, it is expected the iPad Pro will acquire many of the same software capabilities. More information on the software side is expected at Apple's  2024 WWDC Developer event in June. 

While exact details are not yet available, there are enough hints here to piece together what is likely on May 7th. If Apple will surprise its customers with the new iPad Pro is up for debate, it likely could use some game-changing features to keep it fresh amidst the current lineup.