Bloomberg: New iPad Pro will get Apple’s M4 chip for AI integration, OLED screens, and Apple Pencil with tactile feedback

The upcoming iPad Pro tablets, which will be announced in early May, should emphasize Apple’s new strategy of deeper integration of artificial intelligence into its hardware solutions, insider Mark Gurman told Bloomberg.

The news follows reports earlier this month of Apple’s accelerated plans to upgrade its computer processors, including the expected release of the M4 chip, which is set to power the new iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. The significant M4 upgrade will include a new neural coprocessor that should open up advanced artificial intelligence capabilities. M4 will be the basis for future Apple devices, including this year’s iPads.

Industry sources suggest that the new iPad Pro will indeed have an M4 processor, not an M3, as one might expect. Apple is looking to position the iPad Pro as its first AI-powered device. This potentially marks a shift in Apple’s strategy for marketing future AI-focused products in line with the latest trends sweeping the tech industry.

Apple’s decision to unveil the new iPad Pro ahead of its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June serves a twofold purpose. First, it allows Apple to set the stage for its AI processor strategy without being distracted by other matters. Secondly, at WWDC, the company will be able to focus on demonstrating how the M4 chip and new iPads will use future AI software and services in iPadOS 18. This shift is also expected to extend to the iPhone 16 line, with the A18 processor likely to be positioned as AI-focused.

Although current products are not fully AI-driven, Apple’s move is partly strategic, as it is in line with the growing importance of AI in technology marketing. Future hardware releases promise even more advanced capabilities, including an iPad integrated into a home robot. This is a new business line that Apple is actively considering after the closure of the autonomous electric car project.

The new iPads will debut in early May, after delays from March to May, and the Let Loose event is scheduled for May 7. It will feature the new iPad Pro, iPad Air, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil. The event will be held online only and is expected to last less than an hour. Apple is also organizing smaller in-person events for selected media representatives in the US, UK and Asia.

In addition to the M4 chip, the new iPad Pro will feature an OLED screen that will bring the tablet’s image quality to that of an iPhone. The iPad Air will also offer a 12.9-inch display for the first time. At the same time, the new Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil are expected to debut, with the latter featuring haptic feedback, which will be the first time this accessory has been used.