When will Apple release it?

Reports over the weekend claimed that Apple will soon unveil new products via press releases rather than holding a private media event. One of them said that Apple will launch the iPad Pro, iPad Air 6 and M3 MacBook Airs this month or in early April. Another suggested that Apple share these product announcements this week.

Apple partially confirmed the latest leak on Monday when the company announced the M3 MacBook Airs. The 13-inch and 15-inch M3 MacBook Air models are available for pre-order and will begin shipping on Friday.

We thought Apple would announce new iPads on Tuesday. It didn't happen. Wednesday passed, and we thought an announcement was coming. We were wrong again. So, where are the 2024 iPads? Why doesn't Apple launch it alongside the M3 MacBook Airs?

The truth is we don't know, but we can make some educated guesses.

Fear of cannibalism

The simplest explanation may relate to disassembling the product. Apple has long marketed the iPad, especially the Pro model, as a laptop replacement. And the M3 MacBook Airs are laptops. Launching the M3 iPad Pros, M2 iPad Air 6 and M3 MacBook Airs at the same time could hurt sales of iPads or MacBooks.

Ideally, buyers will buy a new tablet and a new laptop. So perhaps Apple wants to space these devices apart so that each has a chance to shine. The M3 MacBook Airs are highly anticipated devices, arriving later than their MacBook Pro counterparts. They'll be getting a lot of attention from reviewers in the coming days and weeks.

The iPad Pro is not good enough to replace my MacBook. Photo credit: Christian De Lauber for BGR

There's no point in having the OLED iPad steal the spotlight. I think this is what will happen.

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The OLED iPad Pro is rumored to offer a stunning viewing experience and a thinner form factor than ever before. All of this is possible thanks to the new OLED display technology developed by Apple for the iPad Pro. Display technology not available on competing tablets. Display technology that may convince some buyers to spend extra money on the tablet.

I'm not ready to spend an arm and a leg on an OLED iPad Pro, but I'm tentatively curious. I want to see what it's all about because I want to reintegrate the iPad into my overall Apple computing experience.

In this regard, the updated M2 iPad Air is equally exciting. This is an iPad Pro without the bells and whistles you get from the Pro models. For the first time, the iPad Air will come in a 12.9-inch version.

There's no indication if we'll also get the iPad 11 and iPad mini 7 alongside the OLED iPad Pro and iPad Air 6. Most rumors only specify the final two upgrades for this spring update.

to update: Reviews for the M3 MacBook Air dropped on March 7th, reinforcing my belief that Apple wanted to give the new laptops enough time to shine without having to compete for attention with the exciting 2024 iPad. Original story continues below.

What if the OLED iPad Pros aren't ready?

But if Apple wants to launch its tablets in early 2024 simultaneously, I can think of another reason that doesn't have to do with cannibalization concerns.

It's the iPad Pro's OLED screen. Recent rumors from Korea have suggested that Samsung and LG are manufacturing OLED panels. But each company is working on one of the iPad Pro sizes.

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Samsung Display has reportedly secured initial orders for the 11-inch OLED displays, while LG will manufacture the 13-inch OLED displays that Apple needs. LG was supposed to manufacture the majority of the iPad Pro's OLED displays. But Apple changed its mind.

These are first generation OLED panels, and production issues may impact productivity. Apple will want to prepare a certain number of iPad Pro displays, as it is likely targeting a specific sales number for the launch period.

iPad Air (2022) Main
Apple launched the fifth-generation iPad Air in March 2022. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The same report stated that Samsung and LG began manufacturing iPad Pro panels in January. Apple may still be waiting for enough displays to be manufactured so that its assemblers can deliver the first batch of iPad Pro models.

Apple will not confirm any manufacturing delays, if any. Also, there is an easy solution for this. Apple could unveil the iPads and give buyers an extended pre-order period to compensate for any production issues.

But this brings me back to the previous problem. Apple didn't merge the iPad and Mac lines because, ideally, it wants you to buy one of each product. Starting OLED iPad Pro pre-orders too early could impact sales of the M3 MacBook Air.

This is all speculation based on the latest rumors detailing Apple's plans for the new iPad and Mac. The point is that we are back to waiting. Apple may unveil the OLED iPad Pros and iPad Air 6 this week. Or maybe we'll have to wait until later this month for the 2024 tablets to hit stores.

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