Apple’s March Madness: OLED iPads, M3 MacBooks, and More Expected in Early 2024

MacBook AirPods Pro iPad Pro and Apple Pencil Credit: Nasim Dadfar / Michael Jeffery / Unsplash
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The first few months of 2024 could be a pretty exciting time for Apple fans, with a new report that suggests the company will usher in several new iPads and Macs to kick off the new year.

While we’re still not expecting too much from the first frosty months of 2024, by the time March rolls around, we’ll likely see not only Apple’s long-anticipated Vision Pro headset arrive in stores but also a new M3-powered MacBook Air lineup and the first OLED iPads.

The news comes from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who shared a report today outlining a good part of Apple’s 2024 roadmap, for which new iPads and Macs will only be the start.

While an M3 MacBook Air seems inevitable following the release of Apple’s latest piece of Mac silicon in the 24-inch iMac and new MacBooks Pro, many weren’t sure these would arrive before June’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

However, Gurman says Apple is pushing for a March release to help “reverse a decline in Mac and iPad sales,” according to “people familiar with the situation.”

M3 MacBooks and Larger iPads

The M3 MacBook Air won’t likely feature anything revolutionary; like the new MacBook Pro models that Apple released in October, the M3 chip will be the highlight of the update. However, Apple will use the opportunity to refresh both the 13-inch and 15-inch models at the same time, bringing them into lockstep in terms of specs — and likely keeping them on the same upgrade cycle going forward.

The more exciting news is Apple’s plans for the iPad Air and iPad Pro, the latter of which will be getting its first major overhaul since 2018 when the flat-edged design that’s now become the norm across the entire family was first introduced on the higher-end models.

The biggest change will be a shift to OLED screens on both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, bringing the two back into unity after the 12.9-inch version gained a mini-LED panel two years ago while the 11-inch model remained left behind on the same Liquid Retina LCD screen it’s had since 2018.

According to Gurman’s sources, the new OLED screens will support a wider range of colors and finally match the display technology used in the iPhone. Naturally, the iPad Pro will also move to an M3 chip, but that’s considerably less surprising considering the M2 in the late 2022 model.

The iPad Air will see an even more significant change, with Gurman confirming recent reports that Apple is working on a larger 12.9-inch version of the mid-tier tablet. This will allow it to match the iPad Pro in size, although it will still use an LCD panel and likely lack Face ID to make it a more affordable option for those who would like a larger iPad without breaking the bank. As Gurman notes, this mirrors Apple’s strategy in introducing the 15-inch MacBook Air earlier this year.

It’s less clear what chip these will use, but since the current iPad Air sports an M1, it’s a safe bet that it will move to an M2; Apple will likely reserve the latest M3 for the more expensive iPad Pro, although that’s by no means a sure thing.

The new iPad Air and iPad Pro will launch alongside iPadOS 17.4, plus “revamped versions” of the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard. The new stylus is said to be an upgraded, third-generation version of the Apple Pencil, rather than the low-end model that was announced last month, while the new Magic Keyboards “will make the iPad Pro look more like a laptop,” with sturdier frames and more aluminum in the design.

The new MacBooks and iPads will likely arrive around the same time the Vision Pro headset goes on sale, although there’s no word on whether they’ll have any special new features to tie into its mixed-reality spatial computing devices. The iPhone 15 Pro lineup will gain Spatial Video recording in iOS 17.2 to allow users to record 3D videos that can be played on the new headset, and the new USB-C AirPods Pro will offer high-fidelity lossless audio when paired with the headset.

Gurman also adds that Apple is hoping to bring blood pressure sensing to next year’s Apple Watch Series 10 (which could be dubbed the “Apple Watch X”), as well as a refreshed iPad mini, a new lower-end iPad, and “larger upscale iPhones.” However, all of these appear to be slated to arrive later in 2024.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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