New iPads Are Coming on May 7. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Maybe hold off on buying an iPad in the next two weeks.

Inverse deputy tech editor Raymond Wong holding an fifth-generation iPad Air and Apple Pencil
Photograph by Raymond Wong

Stop! Do not buy an iPad in the next two weeks! Apple just announced a May 7 event, where it is widely expected to unveil new iPads and maybe even the rumored third-generation Apple Pencil.

Here’s the live stream “invite” that Apple sent to media, including Inverse:

The tagline is “let loose” and there’s clearly an Apple Pencil visible. The colors that form the Apple logo could hint at new colors for the iPad Air, the only current iPad series that is available in colors other than silver and space gray.

Which iPads Are Getting Updated?

Good question, because Apple went all of last year — the first time since Steve Jobs announced the iPad in 2010 — without refreshing a single iPad. Part of that is because the iPad has almost no competition other than Samsung’s Galaxy tablets. The OnePlus Pad and Google Pixel Tablet put up a good fight last year, but iPads still dominate the tablet realm.

So, naturally, Apple should update all the iPads, right? Possibly! Here’s what the rumors are saying right now.

Logic Pro combines the best of Apple’s desktop software with the GarageBand app.


2024 iPad Pro

The 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros were last updated in 2022 with the M2 chip. The tablets are expected to retain their display sizes, but switch from Mini-LED to OLED. This could offer a few benefits including a slimmer design (the iPad Pros have gotten thicker and heavier since the 2018 iPad Pro redesign), even deeper black levels, and less blooming around bright areas of content. OLED also comes with efficiency: typically longer battery life since the pixels are either in an on or off state.

Another big change could see the FaceTime HD camera move from the short side of the iPad Pros to the long side, just like on the 10th-generation iPad released in 2022. This repositioning would put the camera in the “correct” place when the iPad Pros are attached to a keyboard.

Less interesting but probably no less impressive will be an upgrade to the M3 chip — the same ones found in the M3 MacBook Airs.

Other rumors include MagSafe charging or connectivity and a matte or anti-glare display option similar to the nano-texture option on the Apple Studio Display and Pro Display XDR.

2024 iPad Air

The current fifth-generation iPad Air comes in one display size: 10.9 inches. There are rumors that Apple will introduce a larger 12.9-inch iPad Air, mirroring the same-size iPad Pro model. This larger iPad Air could come with mini-LED display technology and the same relocated FaceTime HD camera.

Word on the street is that the new iPad Airs will come with M2 chips and not M3 ones. Apple clearly wants to save its latest and greatest for its Pro tablet lineup.

No 2024 iPad mini or Entry-Level iPad Yet

A seventh-generation iPad mini and an 11th-generation non-superlative iPad aren’t expected for May 7. Rumors suggest Apple will save refreshes for the fall. Gotta have something for later this year!

New Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard?

Everything about current iPads points towards laptops.

Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Assuming the new iPad Pros and Airs are indeed redesigned with FaceTime cameras on the long side of the tablets, then Apple needs to release a new Apple Pencil because for magnetic charging to work. There are rumors that a new Apple Pencil could also come with new features and maybe even work with the Apple Vision Pro.

As for a new Magic Keyboard, there’s not a whole lot on it, except that it might be redesigned with an aluminum construction to make it more MacBook-like when connected to an iPad Pro and Air.

Where to Watch the May 7 iPad Live Stream

Right here, on YouTube:

The iPad event starts on May 7 at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT. Apple will also stream it on its website.

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