'Not true' — rumored March 26 iPad Pro and Air launch isn't happening, insider warns

iPad Pro 12.9-inch on a desk with a wireless mouse and Apple Magic Keyboard attached
(Image credit: Future/Lloyd Coombes)

Apple has been rumored to have plans to launch a new OLED iPad Pro and refreshed iPad Air for months now, but the exact date that will happen has so far been elusive. A recent leak claimed that it might happen as soon as March 26, a date that means we could see the tablets finally break cover in just a few short days. However, one well-connected journalist now says that simply isn't going to happen.

The March 26 date was shared by a leaker on the Chinese social network Weibo but it has now been contradicted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman who says that simply is "not true," throwing the whole unveiling timeframe into further doubt.

Gurman has previously said that Apple won't be able to make the new iPads available until it has all of its software ducks in a row and that none of that is expected to happen until April. That had led some to ponder that Apple may preannounce the new iPads on March 26 but not actually make them available to buy until a week or two later. Now, Gurman appears to suggest that isn't the case and that the March 26 date was bogus all along. However, he stopped short of confirming exactly when the announcement will happen.

Don't get your hopes up

Gurman posted his rebuttal on the X social network, replying to a report detailing the March 26 rumor. No further color has been added to that claim as yet, but with this week's Power On newsletter just days away it's possible he could share additional information then.

As for the tablets themselves, big things are expected. The iPad Pro is set to sport a new OLED display in both the 11- and 12.9-inch configurations, offering better contrast and improved color reproduction. On the inside, it's anticipated that Apple will upgrade the existing M2 chip to an M3 similar to that of the latest 2024 MacBook Air. No overall design changes are expected, but a recent report did suggest that a matte display option was in the cards alongside thinner bezels.

Those who plan on choosing a new iPad Air can expect a refreshed 11-inch model to be joined by an all-new 12.9-inch version if previous reports are accurate. An M2 chip would be an upgrade over the existing M1 model, but again no overall design changes are expected. However, one wildcard is the continued assertion by some that the new tablets will feature relocated FaceTime cameras.

Most iPads, bar the 10th-gen iPad, have their cameras at the top of the display. It's thought that the new iPad Pro and iPad Air models will see the camera move to the side, making for an improved experience when using the tablets in a landscape orientation — like when attached to a keyboard and trackpad, for example. The existing placement means that people appear not to be paying attention during video calls because they seem to be looking off to the side. The change in location would be more akin to a laptop, however.

2023 was the first year that Apple did not release a new iPad of any kind so these new models seem overdue. The 12.9-inch iPad Air could be particularly well received if the price is right, especially for those who don't want or need the extra capabilities offered by an iPad Pro of the same size.

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Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.