Major iPad upgrade confirmed by Apple in software leak — iPadOS 17.5 code reveals firmware support for OLED

ipad Pro display
(Image credit: Future)

Just weeks ahead of a rumored announcement of Apple’s hotly-anticipated new OLED iPad Pro with M3 chip, new code spotted in Apple’s iPad software has confirmed the existence of four new iPad models, and firmware support for exactly that OLED display upgrade. 

The news comes by way of 9to5Mac, which says it has found references to four new unreleased iPads in the beta for iPadOS 17.5. Per the report, there are references to iPad 16,3, iPad 16,4, iPad 16,5, iPad 16,6. The 16 designates that these are four variations of the same iPad model, i.e. the iPad Pro, and reflect exactly the configuration we’d expect to see from May’s rumored release. Namely, a new iPad Pro in two sizes, each with Wi-Fi and Cellular options, four models total. 

The more exciting discovery seems to be confirmation of software support for the OLED display upgrade coming to the lineup. “The firmware suggests that these iPads will be equipped with OLED displays and also corroborates that there will be different suppliers for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions,” the report states. 

Apple’s OLED iPad is nearly here 

We’ve been anticipating a new OLED iPad really since the turn of the year, with a March or April release previously looking very viable. However, multiple reports indicate that these iPads have been delayed because of issues with supply around the new display tech. As such, the most recent report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman indicates that Apple will most likely unveil the new iPad Pro, iPad Air 6, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil 3 during the week of May 6.

Along with an OLED display, other upgrades coming to the next iPad Pro likely include the M3 chip from Apple’s M3 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, a landscape FaceTime camera orientation, a matte finish display, thinner bezels, and support for the new Apple Pencil. According to today’s report, the iPadOS 17.5 beta code also reveals the existence of the previously leaked squeeze gesture, as well as two other new gestures, “LongSqueeze” and “DoubleSqueeze.” 

As mentioned, all four new products are likely weeks away and will end a 500+ day drought without an iPad launch from Apple, the last release being the M2 iPad Pro in October 2022.

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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