Apple plans new iPad Pro in May as production moves overseas

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc.’s overseas suppliers have ramped up production of the company’s long-awaited new iPad, with a launch planned for early May, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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The release will focus on revised versions of the iPad Pro and iPad Air, the people said on condition of anonymity because the plans are not public. As Bloomberg News previously reported, the Pro models will get crisp new OLED displays — short for organic light-emitting diode — while the iPad Air will get a 12.9-inch screen option for the first time.

The move marks the end of the longest period without new models in the history of the iPad, which was first introduced by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 2010. It’s been nearly 18 months since the last update—a drought that’s already contributing to sluggish tablet demand. Apple is betting that new models with faster chips and revised accessories will help fuel the category’s renaissance. can help.

After a surge during the pandemic, iPad sales have declined in Apple’s last two fiscal years, which run through September. They suffered an additional 25% year-over-year decline during the latest holiday period, when devices are typically popular gifts.

A spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple declined to comment.

The iPad Pro models — codenamed J717, J718, J720 and J721 — will run the new M3 chip and work with redesigned versions of the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil. This update represents the first overhaul of that lineup since 2018.

Meanwhile, the iPad Air was last updated with the M1 chip in 2022. It will get a new processor, and the 12.9-inch screen size means consumers can get a larger iPad for less money than the more advanced Pro. ,

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