Apple's big iPad design choice could signal a permanent change in the way we think about the tablet

iPad Pro with M4 chipset
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

In the fourteen years since Apple launched the iPad, the device has gone from a glorified giant iPhone to a bonafide laptop replacement. Apple’s new M4 iPad Pro boasts a chip more powerful than some of Apple’s best MacBooks, such as the M3 MacBook Air, and a stylish Magic Keyboard with aluminum to mimic that premium laptop experience. 

This year, Apple’s new best iPads, the iPad Pro and the new M2 iPad Air, also got new landscape-oriented cameras to reflect that most people use their iPads in landscape as a laptop replacement, rather than in portrait. In fact, there’s only really one detail change that would seal the deal, and Apple is thinking about pulling the trigger. 

That’s right, according to Apple industrial designer Molly Anderson, Apple is considering flipping the Apple logo on the back of the iPad 90 degrees, confirming the lineup as a landscape-first offering.

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iPad goes landscape… for good 

Speaking to French outlet Numerama, Anderson was asked about the orientation of the Apple logo on the back of the iPad, which is currently aligned with the iPad in portrait in all of Apple’s current tablets. “I think it could change, I don’t think it’s set in stone,” Anderson said, according to a translation of the interview. “The iPad has long been a product that is used in portrait mode, but we are using it more and more in landscape mode. We cannot say that it is fixed.” 

While it might sound like a trivial change, the orientation of the iPad’s logo, at least in its current form, reflects strongly the design intention and Apple’s philosophy for the device. The decision to place the logo in portrait would have been a carefully thought out and conscious choice, one that probably seemed obvious at the advent of the tablet fourteen years ago. Changing the orientation of the logo would be equally deliberate, and equally important too, signaling that the lines between iPad and Mac are more blurred than ever. The philosophy of the tablet also plays into the debate around its hamstrung software. Apple’s iPads now routinely ship with hardware that simply can’t stretch its legs because of the constraints of iPadOS. Even iPadOS 17, replete with multi-tasking tool Stage Manager, and keyboard and mouse support, can’t quite get it done. Perhaps WWDC 2024 and iPadOS 18 could finally be the iPad software revolution we’ve been waiting for.

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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

  • Wotchered
    News must be very thin on the ground at the moment !
    I have not looked at the back of my iPad 5 since I bought it, and could not tell you which way the logo is oriented from memory. Apparently the(possible) change in position might signal a world shaking change in how customers may be expected to use their iPads in the future.
    Not by me, it won't !