Apple’s May 2024 iPad Event Poised to Transform the AI Landscape

Published on May 5, 2024

The spotlight is now on the iPad. Following an extended hiatus, Apple’s iPad series is poised for a significant overhaul and design update at the “Let Loose” event on May 7. Surprisingly, this event may become the platform for unveiling Apple’s latest silicon—the M4 chip—and its new approach to generative AI.

(Image: Shutterstock)

This Apple iPad event in May 2024 is notably different. Scheduled for the early morning of May 7 at 7 AM PT in Apple’s base in California, it deviates from Apple’s tradition of later morning starts. Moreover, although it’s a virtual event, Apple has labeled it a ‘Keynote,’ which is typically reserved for the opening speech of a larger, ongoing event. Yet, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, this keynote by Apple CEO Tim Cook and his team is set to be a concise 35-minute presentation.

With the World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) just over a month away, it’s intriguing that Apple has chosen this moment for the debut of its new M4 Chip.

A different look event

Contrary to expectations that place the new M4 chip within Apple’s flagship 12.4-inch iPad Pro—part of an anticipated release including new iPad Air models—Apple historically updates its Mac lines with new Apple Silicon first. For instance, the Apple M3 was introduced in products like the iMac and MacBook Pro earlier this year, following the precedent set by the M1 chip’s journey from the MacBook to the iPad Pro.

Apple’s own art makes it clear this event will be about the iPad, creativity, and maybe something more. What if those Apples were generated by Apple AI

However, there’s more. Signs suggest Apple might also preview its generative AI capabilities in the iPad Pro, which seems plausible given the rumored on-device AI functionalities of the M4 chip. This could be a brief showcase, given the proximity of the developers’ conference. Apple’s broader AI ambitions were emphasized by Tim Cook during last week’s earnings call, indicating a strategic expansion of AI across Apple’s product suite.

A Shift in Strategy from Apple

Reverting our attention to Tuesday’s event, if these speculations hold, Apple is refocusing on the iPad, positioning it to spearhead the introduction of its newest processor and AI technologies. This represents a significant vote of confidence and considerable responsibility for a product line that has seen dwindling sales in recent years.

Moreover, Apple has forecasted a double-digit growth in iPad sales in the coming quarter, further underscoring the significance of this event. While it’s somewhat unorthodox for Apple to introduce new hardware and AI innovations in this manner, it strategically places them ahead of imminent industry events hosted by Microsoft and Google, which are advancing their AI technologies.

What Apple CEO Tim Cook says before an Apple Event always matters. (Image: Shutterstock)

Furthermore, Microsoft is expected to launch its new Surface tablets featuring advanced Qualcomm chips, which are touted for their superior efficiency and AI capabilities, potentially outperforming Apple’s M3 chip. By premiering the AI-capable Apple M4 chip ahead of its competitors’ launches, Apple aims to preemptively overshadow Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Google’s announcements.

In this context, Apple’s strategy appears less surprising. The iPad is set for a strong year in 2024, showcasing a leap in generational performance with the M4 chip and unveiling Apple’s strategy to dominate the AI-centric market landscape.

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