February 25, 2024

Apple watchers have had their sights set on the Vision Pro as the company has teased demos of its mixed reality headset ahead of its launch next week. While the introduction of a new product category to Apple is certainly worthy of attention, the Vision Pro isn’t the only release we’re expecting from the tech giant in the early months of 2024. Apple is readying updates to its iPad lines, with the new models expected as early as March, according to reports.

The updates are long overdue. The company didn’t release any iPads last year, making it the first calendar year without a new iPad since Apple’s tablet was first released in 2010. Here’s what the rumored updates will look like for each iPad line.

OLED coming to iPad Pro

iPad Pro and Pencil 2 on a table

Scott Stein/CNET

OLED is the big news with Apple’s top-end iPad Pro. The new models will reportedly ditch mini-LED screens for OLED displays that will deliver more vibrant colors, true black levels and superior contrast. The OLED panels could also support a wider range of refresh rates. The newer iPhone Pro models feature always-on OLED displays that can operate as slow as 1Hz to extend battery life.

The updated iPad Pros will come in 11- and 13-inch sizes, with the latter being slightly larger than the current big Pro at 12.9 inches. The new Pros are also expected to upgrade from Apple’s M2 chip of the current models to the M3 chip. Other rumored changes include USB-C and MagSafe wireless charging along with an updated Magic Keyboard with an aluminum cover and larger trackpad.

iPad Air expanding to 12.9 inches

iPad Air 2022 on wooden background

Scott Stein/CNET

A larger iPad Air is expected to be added to the line this spring. The current, 5th-gen iPad Air is based on a 10.9-inch display and an M1 chip. The new lineup will be based on M2 chips and available in both 10.9-inch and 12.9-inch models. A 12.9-inch Air would give tablet buyers the ability to get a larger screen without needing to pay the premium for a Pro model.

The new iPad Airs are not expected to move to mini-LED or OLED displays and will keep their LED-based liquid retina panels. They are also expected to work with the current Magic Keyboard and not the keyboard update that will be exclusive to the new Pro models.

Processor bumps for iPad and iPad Mini

iPad Mini and 9th Gen iPad

Scott Stein/CNET

The rumors are foggier for the entry-level iPad and iPad Mini. Each could get a processor bump, with the 11th-gen iPad moving to the A15 chip and the 7th-gen iPad Mini getting the A16 chip. With the arrival of the 11th-gen iPad, Apple will likely keep the 10th-gen iPad as its budget offering and phase out the 9th-gen model, which is the last remaining model with the home button. These updates are expected not in the spring but later in the year.

And by the end of the year, perhaps we will finally see the long-rumored foldable iPad.