Here’s What To Expect From Apple’s Let Loose iPad 2024 Event In London On 7 May

Imagine one full year’s worth of iPad rumours, and nothing to show for it. That was what happened in 2023, when the industry continually shared rumours and unverified information about Apple’s next iPad, only to have the American tech giant skip releasing a new iPad that year, the first time it has done so since the device’s debut in 2010.

Well, the good news is that Apple has sent out invitations for a Let Loose event on 7 May 2024, heavily indicating that it will be an iPad-centric launch event, which makes the device long overdue for an upgrade as the last new iPad model was released in October 2022. There are also strong suggestions that this is not merely a hardware event, and artificial intelligence, or AI, will also take centre stage.

What sets this event apart from previous Apple event announcements is that it will be accompanied by a physical event. But instead of taking place in Apple Park in Cupertino or in New York, where the company has previously hosted guests, Let Loose is set to take place in Battersea, London, the site of Apple’s new 500,000 sq ft UK headquarters located at the iconic Battersea Power Station, and home to the Apple Battersea store.

And while the company will be tight-lipped about what to expect, we can make pretty educated speculations from Apple’s upcoming software, including iPadOS 17.5 beta test for developers, as well as from deep dives into the software code that has revealed references to a new Apple Pencil and information on four new iPad model identifiers that include listing for heavily rumoured OLED displays. Here’s what you can expect from Apple’s iPad event this week.

New iPad Pro Models & OLED Display

Four new iPad models were added to the source code in the iOS 17.5 beta, which are likely to follow the traditional 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad options, with Wi-Fi and Cellular support. There are rumours of a larger iPad Pro as well, but the most significant change in the code is the addition of new firmware which could hint at an iPad Pro using an OLED display for the first time.

Currently, all iPad models use LCD screens, but a switch could mean a significant leap in graphics quality, revolutionizing the iPad Pro’s offerings. With four new models though, we think it’s likely that this change in display will likely be exclusive a top-end model.

iPad M4 Chip

There is a push by tech companies when it comes to adding AI into their offerings, and while Apple has made great headway, not much has evolved and the expectation is that the new iPad models will come with a strong AI ecosystem, and what will power this? A new and powerful chip of course. Yes, Apple announced the M3 family of chips late last year, but what if there’s a stronger version waiting to make its debut?

We will normally take this with a pinch of salt, but it is coming from Bloomberg tech analyst Mark Gurman, who has a solid track record when it comes to Apple rumors. He believes that the new iPad Pros will be outfitted with an M4 processor chip. And there’s some truth behind it, with how Apple has labelled its iPad models. 

The new models are labelled iPad 16,3, iPad 16,4, iPad 16,5 and iPad 16,6, marking a change in the labeling system, from the iPad 14 identifier on the 2022 models that use the M2 chips. So why not use 15 as an identifier? Well, the current M3 chips on the Macs have been using the 15 label, and since there were no M3 iPads, this has led to the conclusion that the new iPads labeled with ‘16’ could actually represent a shift to M4 chips. 

The counterargument is that Apple has yet to announce its M3 Ultra chip, usually the fourth and most powerful model of its current System-on-Chip family, and if only the higher-end Pro model is getting the M4 chip, why are all four iPad identifiers adopting the ‘16’ label? 

New Magic Keyboard

Gurman also hinted at the possibility of a new Magic Keyboard to go with the new iPads, and expects this announcement to come on 7 May as well. He indicates that the Magic Keyboard will look “even more like a laptop than the current setup and adds a larger trackpad”, and it seems like Apple finally listened to complaints about the small trackpad for the iPad accessory.

Apple Pencil (3rd Generation)

The Apple Pencil has set the gold standard for electronic writing instruments, such that every other brand has launched a stylus, but Apple has a Pencil. A command in the code with the ‘squeeze’ function has also found in the code, and while there’s nothing to hint at its functionality, there is speculation that this third-generation Apple Pencil will introduce haptic feedback built into it.

There is also talk about interchangeable magnet tips, as well as support for Find My, since the Apple Pencil is the company’s most likely to be misplaced accessory without the location feature. The Apple Let Loose event will be live-streamed online at 7am Pacific Time on 7 May 2024, and hopefully, give the rumors swirling around its upcoming announcements a satisfying conclusion.