Apple's first OLED iPad could be unveiled in May

Tablet: Apple iPad Pro 12.9 6th Generation
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi? / Netflix, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet)

It's been quite some time since we've seen a new iPad; 18 months to be exact. Apple has neglected its popular tablets in favour of upgrading its Mac computers and launching the iPhone 15 series, which has left the current lineup untouched for over a year.

Thankfully, iPad fans should be able to breathe a sigh of relief, as Apple looks to be coming back stronger than ever according to new rumours courtesy of Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. According to these reports, we could see a new range of iPads launch within the next month. Gurman attributes this speculation of an imminent launch to the increased production of iPad displays, which has also revealed two major upgrades to the iPad lineup in the process.

Starting with the new iPad Pro, Apple is expected to make a shift from Mini LED to OLED on its premium tablet offering. Apple has outfitted its iPhones with OLED displays since the iPhone X in 2017, as well as using Micro OLED technology on its Vision Pro headset, but now the self-emissive screen technology should be making its way to the iPad for the first time. 

The OLED panel should be sharper and provide enhanced contrast on the new iPad model, as well as delivering those trademark inky blacks that we know and love. Combine that with Dolby Vision certification and we could be onto a real winner with this new iPad. We also expect Apple to include the existing ProMotion display technology that allows for a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz. 

Codenamed J717, J718, J720 and J721, the new iPad Pro models will also use the latest Apple-developed M3 processor, which also features in its high-end Mac computers. Gurman also points towards redesigned Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil accessories, making this the biggest update to the Pro-series iPad since 2018. 

It's not just the Pro that will be receiving all the attention, as an updated iPad Air is also supposedly on the way. While it won't feature an OLED display, it is reportedly set to come in a new 12.9-inch option; a first for the iPad Air. It's also expected to get an upgrade from the M1 chip of its 2022 predecessor, although Gurman didn't specify if this would be to the M2 or M3 processor. 

We'd also like to see updates to the 10th Generation iPad (released in October 2022) and the iPad Mini 6th Generation which hasn't been touched since September 2021. However, no mentions of updates coming to these models were made, so we don't have high hopes.

Gurman reports that Apple initially intended to release its new iPad range by the end of March, but a combination of software development and complex manufacturing processes has delayed the launch. They're now expected to launch within a month of Apple's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 event, which is supposedly scheduled to commence on June 10th.


Read our full iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) review

As well as our iPad Air 5th Generation review

And check out our picks for the best tablets

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.