- Apple is said to be working on two iPad Air and two iPad Pro screen sizes, which are expected to launch in early 2024.
- Later, the circulation of the 11th generation iPad will phase out the 9th generation iPad and some older accessories.
- This is said to simplify the iPad lineup.
The iPad was a category-defining success for Apple, changing the perception of what a tablet could do. Although Android tablets have always been around, only the iPad has thrived. But in an effort to diversify its lineup with options and serve more needs at various price points, Apple has come up with a surprisingly confusing iPad lineup that contrasts with the much simpler iPhone, Apple Watch, and even Mac lineup. But a simpler iPad lineup could be on the horizon once Apple releases newer iPads in the coming months.
Apple's current 2023 iPad lineup looks like this:
- iPad (9th generation): Starts at $329 for 64 GB Wi-Fi
- iPad (10th generation): Starts at $449 for 64GB Wi-Fi
- iPad Mini: Starts at $499 for 64GB Wi-Fi
- iPad Air: Starts at $599 for 64GB Wi-Fi
- 11-inch iPad Pro: Starts at $799 for 128GB Wi-Fi
- 12,9-inch iPad Pro: Starts at $1.099 for 128GB Wi-Fi
As you can see, there are several price points that Apple is hitting in turn. In addition, storage options and options for Cellular models add more price scale to the lineup.
But this differentiation is confusing when buying an iPad. For example, if you had a budget of $600-$700, which iPad should you buy? You could buy six combinations within this range and an even more flexible budget on either side would give you even more options.
What makes this situation a bad one is that the end user experience could be quite similar between them, leading to confusion and analysis paralysis. Then there are accessories to consider, with some accessories being compatible with some iPads and not others.
But according to a report from Bloomberg, Apple plans to overhaul its iPad lineup in 2024. One of the ways it plans to do this is by creating more differentiation between the iPad Pro and iPad Air. Apple's leaked iPad lineup for early 2024 includes two iPad Airs (10,9-inch and 12,9-inch) and two iPad Pros (11-inch and 13-inch).
The iPad Air (2024) is expected to come with an M2 processor, which will help it stand out from the 10th-generation iPad, which isn't expected to be upgraded until "much later," according to the report.
On the other hand, the iPad Pro (2024) is expected to come with an M3 processor, an OLED display, an updated design, and a revamped Magic Keyboard accessory. These features will differentiate the Pro and the Air quite a bit and set the Pro apart as the flagship model.
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
iPad Pro with keyboard
These two iPads are expected to be released in the first quarter of 2024. Once these two iPads are released (and their current options are phased out at launch), Apple will work on the next batch. When the 11th generation iPad is released, Apple will phase out the 9th generation iPad and some older accessories, which will help clean up the portfolio.
Here's what Apple's lineup could look like later in 2024:
- iPad (10th generation)
- iPad (11th generation)
- 10,9-inch iPad Air
- 12,9-inch iPad Air
- 11 inch iPad Pro
- 13 inch iPad Pro
While this won't be the slimmest iPad portfolio, it will help create meaningful differences between the models. Some might argue that adding more variation (like another screen size in the air) is the opposite of refinement, and that would be a fair argument. But the final pricing scale could be more distant and less confusing once Apple executes its plan.
Note that επάhigh-end business with the Magic Keyboard is starting to break into MacBook Air territory. Apple may have even more blurred lines in its lineup if and when MacBooks get a touchscreen.
Until then, let's hope we see a truly streamlined iPad lineup.