Apple is expected to unveil updates to several of its key product lines in early 2024, according to a recent Bloomberg article. The list of refreshed products includes new versions of iPad Air and iPad Pro tablets as well as a new M3 MacBook Air.
But why the full-court press to launch new products so early in 2024? The article says a key reason is that Apple hopes to reverse a decline in Mac and iPad sales. On November 2, 2023, when Apple reported its financial results for its fiscal 2023 fourth quarter, which ended September 30, 2023, the report and earnings call revealed that, at the moment, the financial picture was a mixed bag. However, the report showed Mac revenues in 2023 were down significantly, to just $7.6 billion, or 34% year over year. Additionally, the report revealed that iPad revenues dropped to $6.4 billion, or 10% year over year. The Bloomberg article also noted that what was concerning was that Mac and iPad sales accounted for 15% of Apple’s revenue, a segment that had been “hard hit by a decline in consumer tech spending.”
The lack of new Apple iPad models has also contributed to the company's dip in sales: "In fact," the article says, "2023 will be the first calendar year in the product's history when no new versions were released." However, Apple is hoping the introduction of new iPad models and a new Mac Air will help "reinvigorate demand" in 2024.
2023 was the first calendar year Apple released no new iPads
Here are some details on what Apple will be introducing in early 2024:
- Apple iPad Air, which are currently only offered in one size (10.9 inches), will be offered in an additional, larger-sized model, 12.9 inches.
- The new iPad Pro model will come with an organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen, which displays a wider range of colors.
- The new MacBook Air will be powered with its new M3 processor.
Apple’s strategy might be more of a challenge in 2024 than in year’s past, primarily due to the expected new offerings from competing technology companies. In fact, some analysts are skeptical that Apple can deliver. For instance, tech analyst Patrick Moorhead, CEO of Moor Insights & Strategy, tweeted on his Twitter: “Is the bloom off the Mac rose? I’m not sure yet, but Macs certainly don’t look like the juggernaut they appeared.” He also noted on the tweet that in the middle of 2024, Apple will see unprecedented competition in the notebook computer segment from AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm. That could be problematic for Apple since some have reported that Apple’s latest M3 chip may not perform that differently from laptops with M2 chips.
On the other hand, it’s also quite possible that Apple’s 2024 new product offerings may not be affected by the competition and may not translate into declining sales. That’s because consumers who buy Apple products often continue to purchase Apple products. For example, a 2021 study noted that Apple had exceptional brand loyalty (92%) compared with Samsung (65.2%) and Google (62.6%). Such loyalty may disguise if consumers are somewhat unhappy with new 2024 Apple products.
The Bloomberg article also said other expected 2024 launches included Apple’s Vision Pro headset, an updated Apple Watch, a new iPad mini, a revamped Apple Pencil, and Magic Keyboard accessories, among others.
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Terry Sullivan has tested and reported on many different types of consumer electronics and technology services, including cameras, action cams, mobile devices, streaming music services, wireless speakers, headphones, smart-home devices, and mobile apps. He has also written extensively on various trends in the worlds of technology, multimedia, and the arts. For more than 10 years, his articles and blog posts have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including The New York Times, Consumer Reports, PCMag, Worth magazine, Popular Science, Tom’s Guide, and Artnews. He is also a musician, photographer, artist, and teacher.