Apple sets imminent launch date for new iPads – here’s what we know

 IPad Pro 12.9 2021.
IPad Pro 12.9 2021.

After months – no, years! – of speculation, Apple has finally set a date for the launch of its new iPads.

The company has begun inviting members of the media to a “special Apple Event” on May 7 at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST, and although new iPads aren’t mentioned by name in the invite itself, the accompanying illustration features the Apple Pencil, which is a good sign that iPad-related announcements are on the agenda.

The headline reveal is expected to be a new iPad Pro, which is tipped to arrive sporting a supersized OLED display, an updated M3 chipset, and a repositioned front-facing camera. Two iPad Air 6 models (including a larger 12.9-inch size) and a new Apple Pencil seem likely, too, and we could even see Apple debut a new Magic Keyboard.

In the above X post, Apple CEO Tim Cook writes "Pencil us in for May 7!", which is as close to confirmation of a new Apple Pencil as we could hope for. The static invite image below doesn't augur any sea changes for this particular product, but the graphical version looks a bit shorter, which would align with recent rumors. Other anticipated changes include a shinier surface and magnetic, interchangeable tips. The fact that the Apple Pencil is the star of the event graphic has to mean something, right?

Apple iPad launch event
Apple iPad launch event

As for the iPads, Apple’s invite heralds the end of the longest wait for new iPad models since the company began producing iPads in 2010; the last new iPad to hit shelves was the iPad 10.9 (2022) in October 2022.

It was previously thought that new iPad Pros and iPad Airs might land on March 26, but Bloomberg’s resident Apple expert Mark Gurman reported that complications in OLED display manufacturing led to delays in shipping.

Instead, it now looks like new iPads will be landing on May 7, which is incidentally just a few weeks before Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC 2024, kicks off on June 10.

If you’re an Apple fan, then, the next few months are looking very tasty indeed.

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