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The 4 biggest announcements we expect from Apple’s May 7 event

Apple May 7th event promo on Apple website, on iPad.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

It’s been a long time since Apple introduced new iPads. In fact, you’d have to go back to October 2022 to find the last time the company released a new tablet. That’s about to change, however. On Tuesday, May 7, at its “Let Loose” event, Apple is expected to announce at least four new tablets, as well as iPad accessories.

Here’s a look at what we expect — and what we don’t — at this May event.

2024 iPad Pro

The back of the iPad Pro (2022) in Space Gray.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The current iPad Pro models are distinct in that only the 12.9-inch model offers Mini LED display tech, while the 11-inch model uses LCD. That display difference should end this time around with the 2024 iPad Pro.

Both upcoming iPad Pro models are expected to feature a stunning OLED display for the first time, providing users with a more vibrant and sharper viewing experience. The tablets are also rumored to feature a thinner glass body, making the overall device thinner and lighter. As for the chipset, the 2024 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro models could catch everyone off guard and be the first Apple devices to ship with an M4 chipset.

Beyond this, Apple might offer an iPad Pro matte option with an anti-glare coating for the first time. This is perhaps the weakest iPad Pro rumor, however.

More expensive OLED technology will likely translate into price hikes for both 2024 iPad Pro models. At least one rumor suggests the bigger of the two could start at $1,500, compared to the $1,100 Apple charges for the least expensive 2022 12.9-inch iPad Pro model. This hike seems excessive. However, with the price of everything else going up, maybe that’s wishful thinking on our part.

Today’s iPad Pro models start at 128GB of storage and go up to 2TB. Let’s hope the entry point gets bumped to at least 256GB, with the largest model available jumping to 4TB in storage.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will kick off on Monday, June 10. At that time, Apple will almost certainly announce iPadOS 18 and software upgrades for its other products, such as iOS 18 for iPhone. With this in mind, I don’t expect any significant software upgrades to be announced for the new iPad Pro models, although anything is possible. Most likely, Apple will wait until June to announce any substantial changes made on the software front, and even then, the changes won’t be available to the general public until the fall, when the first version of iPadOS 18 is released.

2024 iPad Air

Video playing on the iPad Air 5.
Andy Boxall / .Digital Trends

Over the years, the iPad Air has established itself as a device that strikes a perfect balance between the more expensive iPad Pro models and the more affordable iPad.

So far, only one iPad Air model has been available at a time. However, things are about to change as Apple is expected to introduce two new iPad Air models in 2024. The two models will come in 10.9-inch and 12.9-inch sizes.

While the new iPad Pro may get Apple’s latest M4 chip, the upcoming iPad Air is expected to feature the M3 chipset. Neither model will have an OLED display to make the iPad Air more affordable. Instead, both sizes of the Air will likely feature an LCD panel, although the larger one could offer a Mini LED screen.

The current iPad Air provides a storage capacity of 64GB or 256GB. Hopefully, we’ll see Apple increase these numbers, perhaps to 128GB and 512GB, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Like the previous models, the new iPad Airs will be available in various colors. This feature distinguishes the iPad Air from the iPad Pro, which is usually only available in more neutral colors, such as black and silver. However, the exact colors for the new models are still unknown.

New Magic Keyboard

The iPad Pro (2022) sitting in the Magic Keyboard.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Along with new iPads, Apple is expected to introduce a new Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil for these models.

A redesigned Magic Keyboard for iPad has long been rumored. However, with no new tablets onwhich to use it, the new keyboard was apparently delayed. The wait might be worth it, however.

The 2024 Magic Keyboard could be made of aluminum to be sturdier than previous models. It could also have a larger trackpad area. The changes should make the iPad keyboard look a lot like the one found on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Like the tablets themselves, the keyboard should feature a USB-C port.

New Apple Pencil

The 2nd gen Apple Pencil laying on a table.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Last year, Apple surprised many people by releasing the Apple Pencil (USB-C). However, unlike the more expensive Apple Pencil (2nd generation), the newer input device has fewer features.

Apple is rumored to launch a more advanced Apple Pencil, possibly alongside a new Magic Keyboard. This latest version is expected to replace the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) in the product lineup, promising enhanced features and performance.

What about the iPad and iPad mini?

The iPad Mini and Apple pencil work very well together.
Adam Doud / Digital Trends

Come May 7, those who typically buy iPad Pro and iPad Air models will be happy. However, those who usually purchase the more affordable iPad and smaller iPad mini models may have to wait longer for new versions to be announced. While there have been rumors of updates for both devices, it is unclear when they will be released. Most likely, Apple will announce them when the iPhone 16 series is revealed.

For context, the most recent base iPad — the iPad 10th gen — was released in October 2022. Meanwhile, the iPad mini 6th gen launched in September 2021. Both are due for upgrades soon, but it’s almost guaranteed that we’ll need to wait a little bit longer for both of them.

When is the iPad event?

Artwork for Apple's May 7 event.

Apple’s May 7 event will be livestreamed globally, starting at 7 a.m. PT through the company’s dedicated events page and YouTube channel. This is earlier than most Apple events, which typically begin at 10 a.m. PT. Regardless, you can watch a recording of the iPad event online at the same outlets.

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Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
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