Apple is reportedly working on a new iPad Air size with a larger 12.9-inch display to be released early next year, according to trusted supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a new Medium post, Kuo outlines what to expect from the iPad lineup throughout 2024. Apple continues to work on an overhauled iPad Pro with OLED displays and the M3 chip, which is expected to enter mass production by the second quarter of 2024. On the other hand, a new expanded iPad Air lineup will introduce a new 12.9-inch screen size for the first time alongside the existing 10.9-inch model.
Apple will kick off mass production of the new iPad Air before the iPad Pro, adds Kuo. While the 12.9-inch iPad Air will utilize an LCD panel instead of a miniLED one, it’s still expected to keep the oxide backplane from the iPad Pro which offers better display performance than the amorphous silicon backplane currently used on non-Pro iPads.
On the other hand, the OLED panels designated for the next-gen iPad Pro will utilize the same LTPO and stack tandem technology as the iPhone 15 Pro. Apple has slightly delayed mass production of the iPad Pro due to difficulties with producing the displays, but it is still on track to ship them before the second half of 2024. The company could also increase the retail price of the iPad Pro for better price segmentation from the iPad Air and to make up for increased OLED panel production costs.
Kuo also expects Apple to upgrade the iPad mini and entry-level iPad. Mass production of Apple’s updated 8.3-inch tablet will supposedly commence in the second half of 2024 alongside the 11th-generation iPad. Apple will also finally discontinue the two-year-old ninth-generation iPad with an outdated design and Home button before the end of next year.
Kuo says that Apple will ship around 52-54 million iPad units in 2024, a slight increase over the 50 million units the company is expected to ship in 2023 and a sizable difference from the 2022 peak of 63 million shipped units. Despite a plethora of new features, Apple will only ship around 6-8 million units of the new iPad Pro due to possible cannibalization from the iPad Air.