- Apr 12, 2001
Throughout 2022, we heard a multitude of reports about an OLED iPad Pro and even an all-new 14.2-inch iPad – but rumors about all of the next-generation iPad models have otherwise been thin on the ground, so can we really expect any new iPad models to launch this year?
2023 appears to be shaping up to be a quiet year for iPad hardware refreshes, and while it is possible we could see some new models, the current picture suggests that new iPads this year are unlikely on the whole. 2024, on the other hand, is looking like it will be a much more significant year for the iPad lineup. Below, we have consolidated all of the latest rumors about each of Apple's upcoming iPad models to get a sense of what may or may not be in store for this year.
11th-Generation iPad: Unlikely
When Apple introduced the 10th-generation iPad last year, it added the device to the lineup above the ninth-generation model from 2021. As a result, Apple currently sells both the ninth- and 10th-generation iPad for $329 and $449, respectively. It appears to be able to do this more easily since the devices are well-differentiated, offering different designs, chips, display sizes, ports, keyboard accessories, and more.
The A15 Bionic chip is the most plausible upgrade for the 11th-generation iPad, since each new entry-level iPad since the eighth-generation model from 2020 has gained a chip that is one generation newer. The 10th-generation iPad features the A14 Bionic chip, so the A15 is the most likely upgrade for the next model – not least because this chip is now widely used across devices like the iPhone SE, iPad mini, and Apple TV.
The entry-level iPad could, perhaps, also benefit from second-generation Apple Pencil support and a newer chip, but it is not immediately clear what else could justify offering a new version of the device this year. Since an 11th-generation iPad would be unlikely to have much new to offer over the 10th-generation model at the current time, a new model anytime soon seems unlikely. There have also been no concrete rumors about the new entry-level iPad as yet.
This year, Apple may be more likely to eliminate the ninth-generation iPad from the lineup and bump the 10th-generation model down in price, rather than release an 11th-generation model.
Seventh-Generation iPad Mini: Possible
Apple launched the sixth-generation iPad mini in September 2021, bringing the first major redesign to the device in its entire history. Like the 11th-generation iPad, a chip upgrade is the most certain feature coming to the next iPad mini – an aspect supported by recent reports.
The iPad mini currently contains the A15 Bionic. While it is slightly downclocked, the A15 Bionic puts the iPad mini on a level footing with the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, third-generation iPhone SE, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, and third-generation Apple TV 4K. These six devices with the A15 chip are expected to remain on sale throughout 2023, meaning that the chip is likely to remain quite prevalent in Apple's product lineups.
As a result, the current iPad mini will contain relatively modern chip hardware throughout the entirety of this year. With features like second-generation Apple Pencil support and Center Stage, there is no pressing need to update the device this year and it is not clear what a new model could offer.
While Apple updated the iPad mini annually from 2012 to 2016, updates thereafter became more infrequent, with just one minor refresh in March 2019 before 2021's redesign. As a device that now seems to stick around for longer in between updates, a hardware refresh in 2023 is not certain, but the seventh-generation iPad mini is the only iPad model actively rumored to potentially launch this year.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in December that the seventh-generation iPad will begin mass shipments towards the end of 2023 or in the first half of 2024. Most recently, Kuo said mass production is now likely to start in the first quarter of 2024, so while it could still be unveiled this year, 2024 seems most likely. There have been no other concrete rumors about the new iPad mini as yet, but Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently said that an update this year with a minor "spec bump" is not out of the question.
Sixth-Generation iPad Air: Unlikely
The iPad Air is another device with no solid rumors about its successor. The current model was introduced in March last year, adding the M1 chip, Center Stage on the front-facing camera, a faster USB-C port, and several new color options, but it was overall a minor upgrade over the previous model from September 2020.
As such, as of 2023, it has been some time since the iPad Air had a major hardware refresh. Yet due to its positioning between the entry-level iPad and the iPad Pro, it is not immediately clear what a new iPad Air model could gain without cannibalizing the iPad Pro.
A horizontally oriented front-facing camera, the M2 chip, and a Thunderbolt port are among the potential features for the sixth-generation iPad Air, but little is known about the device at this time. Similar to the iPad mini, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman believes that a minor update this year is possible. While a refresh to add the M2 chip is possible in 2023, it may be more likely that Apple again waits two years to update the device, and targets 2024 for a more worthwhile upgrade.
Seventh-Generation iPad Pro: Very Unlikely
The next-generation iPad Pro models are the most-rumored upcoming iPads. The current 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models were released in October 2022, adding the M2 chip, Apple Pencil hover, Smart HDR 4, Wi‑Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.3 – another minor refresh like the fifth-generation iPad Air.
With the current- and previous-generation iPad Pro models featuring M-series chips, and the 2022 refresh making the leap to the M2 chip, the M3 chip is the most likely chip to be included in the next-generation iPad Pro. The M3 chip is expected to be manufactured using TSMC's 3nm process, bringing the biggest performance and efficiency boost to Apple's chips in several years. The first Apple devices with M3 chips are not likely to appear until the second half of 2023, which seemingly rules out a new iPad Pro anytime soon.
Moreover, the main feature rumored for the next-generation iPad Pro is OLED displays – an upgrade that has been rumored for over a year. Dozens of reports from multiple sources are consistent that iPad Pro models with OLED displays are scheduled to launch in 2024, rather than this year. The OLED displays Apple is planning to use will reportedly be more durable and enable thinner and more lightweight device designs, and they could have slimmer bezels with the display size options increasing from 11- to 11.1-inches and 12.9- to 13-inches.
The iPad Pro has had the same design for four successive generations since 2018, and it looks like the device could finally get a redesign in its next incarnation. It is not entirely clear what the new design could look like, but a thinner and lighter device with a glass back or larger glass Apple logo to enable wireless charging seems plausible based on current rumors. The device could also switch from a default portrait orientation to a landscape design – something seemingly supported by the relocation of the iPad mini's volume buttons and the latest entry-level iPad's landscape front-facing camera.
The iPhone 15 lineup is rumored to move to an iPhone 5C- or MacBook Pro-like design with a flat front and a rounded back, so a design like this for the iPad Pro is also not out of the question.
The one thing that is clear about the next major iPad Pro update according to rumors is that it will not launch in 2023, meaning that any new iPad Pro models this year seem very unlikely. Apple waited over 18 months between the 2021 and 2022 iPad Pros, and if a similar timeline was followed again, the next-generation iPad Pro would launch in May 2024.
14-Inch iPad: Cancelled
A 14.1-inch iPad was previously rumored to launch in in early 2023, but the latest reports suggest such a device is no longer in the works.
While it was initially said to feature a mini-LED display and ProMotion technology, it was later believed to feature an LCD display like the iPad Air. This suggests that it was not an iPad Pro model, but rather an all-new kind of iPad that focused on a large display without advanced features present on the high-end iPad models.
Larger iPads are still a possibility for the future, as The Information believes Apple is designing a 16-inch iPad and Bloomberg has repeatedly confirmed Apple's interest in bigger iPads.
With the cancellation of the 14.1-inch iPad, which was ostensibly the most far developed larger iPad model on account of the corroborated rumors surrounding the device, as well as the only iPad rumored to launch in the first half of the year, it now seems to be the case that any larger iPad models are off the cards for 2023.
Article Link: Will Apple Launch Any New iPads in 2023? [Updated]