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iPad Pro looks set for first major update since 2018

Apple appears set to overhaul the iPad Pro, though the refreshed tablet seems unlikely to hit the market until next year.

The news appeared on Sunday courtesy of Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who often calls it right with Apple-related news.

The tech giant’s iPad Pro hasn’t seen a major update since 2018, and the company will be hoping that showing some love to the high-end device will help to stimulate a tablet market that, according to Gurman, “is in a deep funk.”

The next-generation iPad Pro devices — reportedly code-named J717, J718, J720, and J721 — will be Apple’s first tablets to come with OLED displays, sources told Gurman. This is the same kind of display found on the iPhone since the the launch of the iPhone X six years ago, and it offers a brighter, crisper look, as well as more vibrant colors and deeper blacks.

The new iPad Pros will reportedly come in 11-inch and 13-inch sizes. The 11-inch model is already in the lineup, but a 13-inch display would mark a very slight increase over the current 12.9-inch offering.

And as you’d expect, next year’s iPad Pro is expected to get Apple’s incoming M3 chip, too.

Gurman’s sources also claim that Apple will launch a revamped Magic Keyboard for the tablet. “The new accessory makes the iPad Pro look even more like a laptop than the current setup and adds a larger trackpad,” the Bloomberg reporter said, adding that the introduction of a bigger trackpad would address a complaint about the current Magic Keyboard, which launched in 2020.

The new iPad Pro tablets appear unlikely to debut until spring or early summer of 2024, and only minor updates are expected for the rest of the iPad lineup before then.

Although the tablet market may be in the doldrums following a rise in sales during the pandemic, Apple still leads the market with 37% of tablet shipments in the last quarter.

A major revamp for the iPad Pro next year should help to propel tablet sales for the company, though with many people using tablets as their secondary device after their phone, persuading people to part with big bucks for an iPad could be a real challenge in these economically uncertain times.

If you’re sniffing around for a new tablet right now, Digital Trends has some advice on which iPad is the best for you, and can also point you toward some decent Android ones if you’d prefer to steer clear of Apple’s offerings.

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Trevor Mogg
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