Can an updated iPad Pro revive moribund tablet market?

While Apple's September event next month won't deliver a new iPad Pro, the company is working on a major overhaul for next year. Here's what we expect to see.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Although we're not expecting to see a new iPad this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says one is coming next year, and it will come with a slew of revamped features -- including a yet-be-released M3 chip and OLED screen.

Also: Every product we're expecting at Apple's September event 

Apple analysts expect the iPad Pro to receive many updates and feature upgrades as Apple tries to revive the moribund tablet market.

Gurman says the iPad pulls in the least revenue Apple sees from any of its core tech products, and Apple is getting creative in an effort to change the iPad's trajectory.

It's not only Apple that's struggling to sell tablets. According to analyst IDC, tablet shipments declined almost 30% year over year in the second quarter of 2023. Customers are finding Macs, MacBooks, and iPhones more functional and valuable in their everyday lives than iPads.

 Gurman says Apple contributed to the iPad's decline in popularity, as the iPad hasn't seen a significant design overhaul since 2018. He adds that the company's in-house-built chips' longevity means people can use iPads longer, reducing the demand for regular upgrades upgrades. 

To reverse the iPad's declining course, Apple is reimagining the iPad Pro, which Gurman predicts will hit the market next year with Apple's yet-to-be-released M3 chip and an OLED screen.

Also: The best iPad models of 2023: Top picks for students and professionals

Current iPad Pro models sport Apple's M2 chip, which is more efficient than the M1 chips in the iPad Air. OLED screens allow for thinner, lighter, and more colorful displays. 

Finally, Gurman expects Apple to release an upgraded Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro. People complain that the current Magic Keyboard has too small of a trackpad. The new Magic Keyboard should resolve this issue.

No one expects the new iPad Pro to appear next month at Apple's launch event, which will likely focus on iPhone and Apple Watch announcements, but expect more rumors to swirl around the iPad Pro once the hype for the iPhone 15 dies down.

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