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Surprise Apple Event Hints at First New iPads in Years

 Surprise Apple Event Hints at First New iPads in Years


We haven’t seen a new iPad in years, but Apple seems likely to change that in just a few weeks. All signs point to the release of new iPad models in the first week of May.

Apple CEO Tim Cook posted this GIF for the virtual event to X on Tuesday morning.

Apple/Amy Kim/CNET

This morning, I received an email invite for a virtual Apple event, scheduled for May 7 at 7 a.m. PT (10 a.m. ET). The invite, which says “Let Loose,” shows a drawing of a hand holding an Apple Pencil. Considering the iPad is the only device that uses the Pencil — that doesn’t leave much to the imagination.

Apple’s been expected to release new OLED-screened iPad Pros with newly designed Pencils and Magic Keyboard cases. New iPad Airs are also expected, including a larger-screened 12.9-inch model. Apple’s iPad Air lineup tends to be slightly redesigned versions of previous-model iPad Pros, so just look to the M2 iPad Pro lineup for a sense of what the next Airs could be. These would be the first new iPads since the iPad Pro M2 model arrived in late 2022.

event invite with a colorful stylized drawing of the Apple logo with a hand holding an Apple Pencil event invite with a colorful stylized drawing of the Apple logo with a hand holding an Apple Pencil

Apple’s virtual invite shows an Apple Pencil.

Apple

Budget iPads aren’t expected to be on tap here: Both the entry-level iPad and iPad Mini may not get updated until sometime in the fall. In the meantime, Apple will likely push new creative uses for its higher-end iPads, and justify what could end up being a significantly higher price for the revamped OLED-screened models. The Pro modes are also expected to have M3 processors, and all the iPads should finally have front cameras centered on the landscape edge for better-framed video chats when docked with a keyboard, like the 10th-gen iPad has (and all MacBooks).

Watch this: What to Expect at Apple’s May 7 iPad Event

There are two open-ended questions I have: Will iPads and Pencils become more hooked-in to the Apple Vision Pro? And will iPads become more of a Mac replacement than they currently are? The answer to both is probably no for now, but with Apple’s software-focused WWDC conference only a month afterwards, it’s an interesting time to release new pro hardware.



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