Last week, Bloomberg’s well-connected reporter Mark Gurman stated that the 2024 iPad Pro will be the “first major update to the product since 2018”.
Alongside the power of Apple’s M3 chips and the iPad’s first OLED screen, Gurman discussed big changes to the iPad’s Magic Keyboard. And in the latest issue of his Power On newsletter, he elaborates a little on what he expects from the new accessory.
Alongside the already flagged larger trackpad, Gurman has since learned a few more things about the new-look keyboard. For starters, it’ll sport an aluminum finish around the keys making it look closer to recent MacBooks.
Yes, gone is the polyurethane material from the old version, replaced with something that — according to Gurman — will both look more premium and be less prone to bending and tearing at the edges. Putting metal close to the tablet’s screen might make you wince, but it works without issue for Apple’s MacBooks — it might just involve a slight iPad design change to avoid accidental damage.
Despite the metal aesthetic, it won’t look like you’re carrying a MacBook Pro under the arm when it’s closed. Gurman says that the exterior shell will “retain the cover material of the current model.”
It will also reportedly stick with the USB-C port found on the existing version, though whether it’ll be any more flexible than it is today remains to be seen (it’s listed as being purely for power delivery, and our attempt to use it for anything else in the course of writing our iPad Pro Magic Keyboard review fell flat).
Because aluminum is a lightweight metal, Gurman reasons that the new model shouldn’t be much heavier than the 1.3 pounds of the current version, but he does think the accessory might be in line for a price hike. That should raise a few eyebrows, given the current model will still set you back $300 — or around 37% of the 11-inch iPad Pro.
We’re some way from having that confirmed one way or the other. In last week’s newsletter, Gurman said that he didn’t expect the new-look iPad Pro to launch until spring or summer 2024.
And you shouldn’t expect “anything other than minor updates to the company’s other tablets before then”, which suggests the upcoming Apple event is going to be all about the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch 9.