Gurman: Apple needs to take the next step and make the iPad a true laptop replacement

New iPads are coming at tomorrow's "Let Loose" event.

In his latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says new iPads are due to arrive on Tuesday, and Apple should go all-in on making them into true laptop replacements.

From his report: Now it’s time for Apple to take a stand. Does it want the iPad to be a half-baked laptop alternative or a real computing replacement? Consumers are confused about why they should buy an iPad versus a Mac and vice verse.

The answer: Apple should commit to making the iPad as capable as a laptop, but in a form that tablet users prefer. The Mac should be for consumers who like working on a traditional computer; the iPad should be for people who want the option of a touch screen.

…. This picture is going to blur a bit more in the coming years because Apple is working to bring touch screens to the Mac. When that happens, choosing between a Mac and iPad will hinge more on whether you want an all-in-one device (laptop) or a modular system (iPad + Magic Keyboard + Apple Pencil).

From a business standpoint, there’s always been a fear that the iPad will cannibalize Mac sales if it gets too powerful. So what? Neither category is doing that hot right now. Apple should just make the best iPad it can, while also making the best Mac it can. The days of purposely holding back the iPad need to end.

Gurman says that here’s how the iPad line will probably look after Tuesday:

° iPad (ninth generation), with a 10.2-inch screen and a home button;

° iPad (10th generation), with a 10.9-inch screen and no home button;

° iPad mini (sixth generation), with a 8.3-inch screen;

° iPad Air: 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, with M2 chips;

° iPad Pro: 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, with M4 chips.

As previously reported, Apple will be holding a special event on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 a.m. (Pacific) with a live stream to be available on Apple.com and on YouTube as usual. It’s dubbed “Let Loose” and shows an illustrated Apple Pencil.

Based on previous speculation and rumors, you can count on seeing new iPad Pros, new iPad Airs, a third generation Apple Pencil, and more. For example, a bigger Air is expected, and the Pro models are almost certain to get OLED displays.

Analyst Ross Young says the upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Air will sport a mini-LED display akin to that of the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Currently, the iPad Air is only available in a 10.9-inch version with a LCD panel. The mini-display tech would offer increased brightness for HDR content, deeper blacks, an increased contrast ratio, and more.

The next iPad Pro will almost certainly sport an OLED display. It’s likely to be a hybrid OLED display made with a combination of flexible and rigid materials. This could mean the updated iPad Pros would be even thinner and lighter design than current models.

A new Magic Keyboard is also likely. Look for it to have a sturdier frame made from aluminum, which will allow the ‌iPad‌ to more closely resemble a laptop.

What new features might an Apple Pencil 3 include? Previous rumors have suggested the following:

° New sensors for more haptic feedback features, including the ability to response to squeezes;

° The tip of the Apple Pencil could have new tech that supports additional features or more accurate drawing accuracy.

° Support for a rolling gesture that would allow you to zoom in on the iPad. 

° A pivotal end that allows for rolling and sliding gestures.

Gurman’s info is from the free edition of “Power On”. If you like it, consider subscribing to Bloomberg.com—you’ll receive the newsletter earlier and get exclusive access to a Q&A section.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.