Apple Inc. plans to announce new iPads starting in April, adding to a product line that has performed particularly well when people work and study from home, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The company is planning an update to its iPad Pro line, adding a better processor and improved cameras, the people said. The new models will look similar to the current iPad Pros and will come in the same 11 and 12.9-inch screen sizes.
The devices will have an updated processor that is on par with the faster M1 chip in the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. Apple designs these processors itself and usually makes them Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Apple is also looking to include a Mini-LED display with at least the largest model, which would be brighter and have improved contrast ratios.
In testing, the new iPad Pros have used a Thunderbolt connector, the same port on the latest Macs with custom Apple processors. The port does not require new chargers, but would allow connectivity to additional external monitors, hard drives, and other peripherals. It is also faster in data synchronization than the USB-C technology used in current models.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. The company has yet to announce its first product launch event of the year, so its plans could change.
The iPad generated $ 8.4 billion in revenue for Apple during the key 2020 holiday quarter, the most since 2014. Sales increased based on demand from people working and studying from home during the pandemic. As employees and students begin to return to offices and schools in the coming months, Apple will bet on new iPad models to maintain interest in the tablet lineup.
The iPad Pro was Last updated in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, adding a tweaked processor, Magic Keyboard support with Trackpad enclosure, and a lidar scanner alongside the camera.
Apple plans to upgrade its cheaper iPad aimed at students with a thinner and lighter design later this year, Bloomberg News reported. It is also preparing to launch a new iPad mini with a larger screen starting this year, an increase from the 7.9-inch screen used since the first model. The iPad mini was last updated in 2019 with support for the Apple Pencil stylus and a faster processor.
Apple has several other product updates planned for this year. The company is working on new iPhones and Apple Watches, an accessory to track the location of physical objects, and major updates for the MacBook Pro laptop and iMac desktop.