Apple is planning a 12.9-inch iPad Air, but it could cause the iPad Pro a headache

Final Cut Pro on iPad
(Image credit: Apple)

A new report claims Apple is planning to release a new 12.9-inch version of its popular iPad Air, in a move that could blur the line between Air and Pro even more and cannibalize sales of Apple’s top-notch tablet. 

It comes by way of a major iPad leak into Apple’s entire planned lineup for 2024. Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed Apple will unveil a new iPad mini 7 alongside a more affordable model, a brand new OLED iPad Pro with M3, and a new iPad Air. 

According to the insider, “two iPad Air models, 10.9-inch and 12.9-inch, are scheduled for mass production in 1Q24.” That’s right, according to Kuo, we’re getting an all-new larger iPad Air which will lack mini-LED but offer “better display performance than the 10.9-inch iPad Air” thanks to the display backplane technology it will inherit from the current-gen iPad Pro. 

Do we really need another iPad Air?

According to Kuo, the OLED iPad Pro might have slightly weaker shipment momentum compared to current models for two reasons. The first is the higher price, which is reportedly north of $1,800. The second is “cannibalization from the 12.9-inch iPad Air”, a sure sign that Kuo expects customers to choose this larger iPad over its Pro older brother. 

This expectation makes a lot of sense, I can certainly imagine that there will be a market for people who simply want a larger iPad screen without all the bells and whistles of the Pro lineup. What’s more, that massive OLED markup is certainly going to make it unaffordable to many, and recent reports indicate Apple isn’t going to continue offering its current best iPad, the mini-LED iPad Pro as a cheaper alternative.

Whichever way you slice it, 2024 is going to be a big year for fans of Apple’s tablet, but do we really need yet another iPad in an already crowded lineup? Plenty of people might say no.

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9