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Brace yourselves: New iPads and Apple Pencil could be coming very very soon

These new iPads are expected to be processor refreshes of existing iPads, although the Apple Pencil could use magnetic tips.
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Published onOctober 16, 2023

iPad Air 5th gen in use as a tablet 1
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Apple could announce the iPad 11, the iPad Mini 7, and the iPad Air 6 tomorrow, according to reports. However, some reports suggest Apple could release the Apple Pencil 3 instead.
  • These tablets are expected to be processor refreshes of existing products. The stylus is said to feature interchangeable magnetic tips.
  • Apple is expected to launch the products without the fanfare of a launch event or livestream.

When we talk about tablets, the iPad dominates the conversation, even against the best Android tablets. In several regions across the world, the word “iPad” has become synonymous with “tablet,” and people refer to all tablets as “iPads.” Apple has figured out the formula to keep the masses happy: Make minimal changes to an established product. According to fresh reports, Apple could release the iPad 11, iPad Mini 7, and iPad Air 6 as soon as tomorrow, with a processor refresh on all three.

iPad refreshes

According to a report from Supercharged citing sources familiar with Apple’s media plans and corroborated by 9to5Mac citing unnamed sources, Apple could make a low-key announcement for new iPads tomorrow, October 17, 2023. The announcements will take place on Apple’s newsroom and its YouTube channel, and no flashy event is planned for the same. Apple has done quiet announcements through press releases for minor refreshes, so it isn’t out of character for the company to do so again.

The products looking to be refreshed are the base iPad, the iPad Mini, and the iPad Air. Only spec refreshes and minor changes are expected on all three.

The tenth-generation base iPad was released in October 2022 with the A14 Bionic. With the iPad 11, Apple could upgrade to the Apple A16 Bionic chip. Apple debuted the A16 Bionic with the iPhone 14 Pro and continues to use it in the non-Pro iPhone 15.

6th gen iPad Mini purple flat
Nick Fernandez / Android Authority

The iPad Mini 6 was released in September 2021 with the A15 Bionic. Changes expected with the iPad Mini 7 are an Apple A16 Bionic chip update and a new display controller that would fix the jelly scrolling effect observed on the current model.

iPad Air 5th gen with stage manager
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The iPad Air 5 was released in March 2022 with the Apple M1 chip. The iPad Air 6 is expected to be refreshed with an Apple M2 chip.

Prominent Apple leaker Mark Gurman penned a vaguely worded denial on Bloomberg. He says these three refreshes are in development but doesn’t believe that “updates of any significance are imminent.” Bigger refreshes, like that for the iPad Pro, are not expected until next year. Depending on how you read it, the denial leaves room open for a minor spec refresh.

New Apple Pencil

Japanese blog Mac Otakara (via MacRumors) believes Apple will announce the Apple Pencil 3 instead of new iPads this week.

This new stylus could come with replaceable magnetic tips, similar to what has been leaked by user Majin Bu on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter). These are said to aid use cases such as drawing, technical drawing, and painting.

It remains to be seen what Apple finally releases, or not, this week.