For over a decade, Apple’s iPad has been a flagship product, with the company unveiling at least one new version each year since its 2010 debut. This consistent release pattern has seen Apple launch as many as four iPad models in a single year.
However, 2023 stands out as an exception, marking the first year since the line’s launch without a new iPad model. The most recent iPad models were released in October 2022, and the only related hardware unveiling in 2023 was the introduction of the Apple Pencil with USB-C.
This pause in the release cycle is notable, particularly considering the iPad’s dominant position in the tablet market.
It suggests a possible shift in Apple’s strategy for its tablet line, potentially influenced by changes in consumer behavior. As iPads have evolved, becoming more advanced and widely adopted, the need for frequent upgrades has lessened for many users. This could be a factor in Apple’s decision to rethink its approach, possibly aiming for more significant, albeit less frequent, updates.
Another factor could be the criticism Apple has faced over the complexity of its iPad lineup and the direction of iPadOS. Having refrained from releasing new models in 2023, Apple might be planning a strategic overhaul of the lineup, aiming for a more streamlined and purpose-driven future.
Looking ahead, 2024 is expected to be a pivotal year for the iPad family. Rumors and analyst forecasts point to a comprehensive refresh across all models, including the entry-level iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro. Notably, there is speculation about the debut of a new 12.9-inch iPad Air, which could lead to an unprecedented launch of six iPad models in a single year.
The flagship iPad Pro is rumored to introduce significant advancements, such as OLED display technology, the M3 chip, and a novel “laptop-like” keyboard accessory, setting the stage for a potentially groundbreaking year for Apple’s tablet offerings.