Apple could be springing a big surprise with M4 chip debut on iPad Pro

iPad Pro 12.9-inch in iMore freelancer's office
(Image credit: Future/Lloyd Coombes)

It's no secret that Apple's "Let Loose" event is coming next week, potentially with an event in London, and will likely highlight Apple's iPad lineup of tablets.

While the current iPad Pro is packing the M2 chip, it appears Apple is about to move to skip over the M3 chip (its current generation of chip which as added to the MacBook Air just a couple of months ago) and introduce the M4.

That comes via Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, who notes in his Power On newsletter that the iPad could be positioned as Apple's first truly AI-powered device.

An iPad Pro with M4 would mark the debut of a new chip generation on a tablet, which is also something we've not seen yet. In fact, Apple's tablets can often be a generation or two behind - the iPad Air, for example, is still using the M1 chip at the time of writing.

iPad Pro 12.9-inch on a desk with a wireless mouse and Apple Magic Keyboard attached

(Image credit: Future/Lloyd Coombes)

The first domino in Apple's AI push?

Given Apple hasn't really known how best to position the iPad (and how there was no iPad hardware launch last year), it's certainly a surprise move.

While Gurman notes there is only a "strong possibility" that the iPad Pro will be the M4, it seems it'll help AI lean into AI.

"By introducing the new iPad Pro ahead of its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple could lay out its AI chip strategy without distraction," Gurman suggests.

"Then, at WWDC, it could focus on how the M4 chip and new iPad Pros will take advantage of the AI software and services coming as part of iPadOS 18 later this year."

Given the Let Loose event is just days away and WWDC 2024 follows just over a month later, we could know a lot more about Apple's AI strategy in the next few weeks.

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Lloyd Coombes

Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom. Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more. He’s also the Editor in Chief at, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch, naturally). You can find him on Twitter @lloydcoombes.