Apple Plans New Products & Upgrades

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Apple are hoping to reverse a decline in sales for Mac and iPads, and is planning the release of several new models and upgrades set for next year.

Efforts include updating the iPad Air, iPad Pro, and MacBook Air, according to inside sources. The new iPad Air will be available in two sizes for the first time, and the Pro will be gaining an OLED screen. The Mac Air is said to feature a faster M3 processor.

Macs and iPads account for 15% of Apple’s revenue combined, and have been hit by a hard decline in consumer tech spending. The iPad slump was due to a lack of new models, with 2023 being the first calendar year without new versions.

In the last year, there have been a range of Mac releases, however, the market is facing a pullback for computers, following a boom in pandemic spending.

Sales fell 34% last quarter to $7.61 billion, and iPad revenue dropped 10% to $6.44 billion.

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Apple is hoping the new models will help demand next year, with the iPads and accessories tipped to launch around the end of March, alongside iPadOS 17.4.

The Macs are being developed alongside macOS 14.3, which is likely to be released between the end of January and February. The hardware may not ship until March.

The iPad Air comes with a 10.9-inch screen, and for next year’s release, there are plans for a 12.9-inch version, matching the current largest iPad Pro. Four models are being readied, codenamed J507, J508, J537, and J538, which will offer Wi-Fi only and cellular versions.

The additional screen size is part of a strategy to offer more options at different prices, providing consumers with a larger display and a cheaper price tag. This mirrors Apple’s strategy with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

The new Pro models are scheduled to be announced at the same time as the iPad Air, with the OLED screens showing a wider range of colours, and the same technology used in iPhones since 2017. The high-end tablet will receive the M3 chip.

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Four new iPad Pro models are in planning, codenamed J717, J718, J720, and J721, with roughly 11-inch and 13-inch screens, as well as Wi-Fi only and cellular configurations.

The new iPad Pro will mark the first overhaul to the product since 2018. Previously, Apple made smaller changes to the line, including using Mac chips, and adding new cameras.

There are also plans to revamp the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard accessories, which will be sold alongside the new iPad Pro. The pencil, codenamed B532, will be the third generation.

The new Magic Keyboards, codenamed R418 and R428, will allow the iPad Pro to look like a laptop and include a sturdier frame with aluminium.

The new MacBook Airs, codenamed J613 and J615, will come in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, and have the M3 chip added.

The Vision Pro headset is also expected early next year, and for later in 2024, there are plans for an updated Apple Watch, with added blood pressure sensing, as well as a refresh to the iPad mini.

A new low-end iPad and larger upscale iPhones are also expected, along with revamped low-end and mid-tier AirPods, with an added USB-C port.

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