Who is the rumored OLED iPad Pro from Apple designed for?

Calvin D

At the beginning of the year, there were many rumors about new Apple products expected to launch at a major spring event. Instead, Apple chose to announce its M3 MacBook Airs through a press release, and since then, new iPads have been notably absent. Mark Gurman, in his Bloomberg Power On newsletter, now reports that a significant iPad update is scheduled for May 6th. This update, coming almost 19 months after the last one, is rumored to introduce new OLED iPad Pros.

Despite the anticipation, some question the necessity of upgrading, especially when models from 2021 and even 2018 still perform admirably. The rumored enhancements, namely the possibility of an OLED display, seem to target a very specific audience: those deeply invested in iPadOS and desiring a high-quality screen. The broader appeal might be limited unless the new iPad Pro can further bridge the gap between tablets and laptops.

The upcoming OLED iPad Pro models, including both 11-inch and 13-inch versions, are expected to feature not just improved screens but also more laptop-like accessories, such as aluminum Magic Keyboards. Gurman also hints at a new Apple Pencil equipped with a pressure-sensitive button. Additionally, two new iPad Airs with M2 processors are anticipated, offering choices in both standard and larger screen sizes, further blurring the lines between the Pro and Air models.

Currently, the iPad Pro's price starts at $1,099, which could buy an M3 MacBook Air with more storage and a fuller computer experience, raising questions about the value proposition of the next iPad Pro. The iPad's relative software limitations compared to macOS's rich history also factor into this comparison. For some, MacOS's expanded capabilities prove more enticing, as highlighted by Federico Viticci's experiences with combining iPad and MacOS functionalities.

Despite these challenges, the iPad remains a popular choice for personal content consumption, highlighting its continued value to Apple's lineup. But to maintain its standing, it might need to evolve further, perhaps even into a hybrid device that can offer the best of both macOS and iPadOS. Apple's willingness to adapt MacBook Pro ports demonstrates potential openness to such innovation for the iPad, suggesting future iterations could see further convergence between Apple's tablet and laptop offerings.