Now is the worst time to buy a new iPad — here's why (with one exception...)

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

Now is the worst time to buy an iPad, and it’s all because of what’s expected to launch imminently.

Even though there are some excellent devices available already in the iPad line-up, we are anticipating a whole new range to launch in the next few weeks. Both iPad Air 6 and new M3-packing OLED iPad Pro models are expected, and this has been corroborated by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who said: “I’m told these machines are likely to come out around the end of March.” 

If these devices slip past March, it still won't be long until new iPads arrive — it's been over a year since Apple put a new iPad out, and it'll certainly want them on shelves before WWDC 2024, where it'll likely show off  iPadOS 18, too.

The new iPad Pro line will almost certainly include the M3 chip, which should see a sizable boost over the M2 chip in the current iPad Pro line. In addition to this, the iPad Pro is rumored to get a brand-new OLED screen and new camera placement, which could make room for a better lens and improve landscape-orientation video conferencing. The iPad Air line is also expected to get some upgrades with it potentially receiving both the M2 chip and size ranges going all the way up to 12.9 inches. 

And though rumors surrounding it have been scant in the past few months, there's a strong chance that the iPad Mini 7 may make an appearance, being the iPad model that's gone the longest without a refresh.

If you are aiming to buy a new iPad at some point soon, there’s no point splashing cash on aging models when you could wait a month and get a much more powerful machine for a similar amount. 

However, there could still be one good reason to buy one right now... 

The one exception

The iPad Air 5 and M2 iPad Pro might see sizable reductions as major retailers aim to clear out stock before the new lineup arrives. New stock arriving tends to push the price of older devices down.

In fact, this has already started affecting iPads as you can get a pretty huge 25% off the price of the iPad Air 5 at Amazon right now — a device I bought myself last Black Friday. The iPad 10 is also on sale at Amazon right now for $100 off its retail price. Though you shouldn’t pick up a new iPad at its retail price, taking advantage of the stock shift to get a good deal is a smart idea, especially if you don’t mind potentially missing out on the M3 chip. 

Even with this exception though, we'd still suggest holding fire — old stock will linger even after the new models launch, and will see prices drop further still once the new and shiny models hit shelves.

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.

With contributions from
  • Wotchered
    The trouble is, when I buy a new iPad I will want the longest service time from it I can get, so I will want one from fairly close to it’s release date.And the entry level, basic iPad at the lowest price is no longer cheap. I am having to re-examine my use of this device as a do it all. I suspect many others will do so.
    In fact the cost of hardware and connections is costing far more than I like if you add it all together, I wonder if it is really worth it.