Get ready for new MacBooks and iPads at Apple March event [Updated]


Get ready for new MacBook and iPad models at Apple March 2024 event
The Apple March 2024 event should be a busy one, with loads of new computers.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is widely expected to hold a product launch event in March 2024 with a range of new iPad Pro, iPad Air and MacBook Air models on the agenda.

You don’t have to wait to find out what’s on Apple’s agenda. Many details about the upcoming notebooks and tablets already leaked out.

UPDATE: It appears there won’t be an actual event. Apple has begun unveiling the expected product via press release, starting with the M3-powered MacBook Air on Monday. The iPad announcements are likely to come soon. 

Expectations for an Apple March 2024 event

Apple’s fall events are well-known, as they usher in new iPhone and Mac models. But the company also has a tradition of holding March events. These are less famous because they don’t happen every year, and what’s unveiled changes: phones, tablets, etc. But they’ve brought some big reveals over the years.

The Peek Performance one in 2022 included the Mac Studio desktop and the Apple Studio Display, plus the third-generation iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5. But there was no early spring 2023 event at all.

Apple has yet to confirm there’ll be a March 2024 event by sending out invites, but quite a few leaks point to one happening. There’s no consensus on a date, though, or even whether it’ll happen early or late in the month.

But the list of products allegedly on the docket is well-established.

Table of contents:

13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air will run on Apple M3 chip

Both sizes of the very popular MacBook Air reportedly will make the jump from the M2 processor to the M3 at the March 2024 Apple event.

This will almost certainly be the base M3 version of the chip. No current model of Apple’s consumer-oriented laptop runs on an M2 Pro or M2 Max, which are intended for professional-grade models.

That’s not to denigrate the processor upgrade. The M3 that Apple announced in fall 2023 offers a boost. The performance cores are up to 30% faster than M1, and the efficiency cores are up to 50% faster, according to the Mac-maker. (Users’ benchmark tests backed this up.)

But don’t expect redesigned versions of the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air at the Apple March 2024 event. There have been no reports of upcoming design changes. And when the M3 debuted in the 2023 MacBook Pro, it went in without any other significant modifications to those 14- and 16-inch notebooks.

As a simple processor upgrade, it’s possible the next MacBook Air versions will stay at their current prices: $1,099 for the 13-inch and $1,299 for the 15-inch model.

Get ready for the first OLED iPad Pro

OLED iPad mockup
OLED screens are on the way to the 2024 iPad Pro line.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Multiple sources indicate the March 2024 Apple event will bring the first iPad Pro with an OLED screen rather than the tablet’s traditional LCD. With OLED (short for organic light-emitting diode) displays, each pixel glows on its own. This leads to a bright, even image with strong contrast.

The new display type supposedly will come to both sizes of the iPad Pro: 11 inches (the same as the current model) and 13 inches (up slightly from 12.9 inches). And the change to OLED let designers significantly slim down the tablets.

Like the upcoming MacBook Air versions, expect Apple’s next top-tier tablets to run the M3 processor.

Because OLED panels cost more than LEDs, the 2024 iPad Air models likely will come with a price jump of about $160.

And the first 12.9-inch iPad Air

Another highlight of the Apple March 2024 event is expected to be the first 12.9-inch iPad Air. The current largest version includes a 10.9-inch display. We expect a new iPad Air model of that size, too.

With the OLED iPad models predicted to come in at a higher price than their predecessors, the two Air tablets apparently will be cheaper alternatives.

The current iPad Air 5 from 2022 runs an Apple M1 processor that debuted in 2020. The 2024 version will reportedly jump overt M2 all the way to an M3.

The current 10.9-inch iPad Air starts at $599. It’s possible the 2024 version in that same size will have an identical price. The new 12.9-inch model might run $200 or even $300 more.

Plus iPad accessories

Along with these new tablets there will supposedly be some iPad accessories. That includes a new Apple Pencil. Details on this are very sketchy, but it could replace the high-end Pencil 2 from 2018.

In addition, a new version of Apple’s Magic Keyboard for iPad is allegedly on the agenda. This will supposedly use aluminum for its exterior, not plastic, making the accessory look more like a laptop. And there’ll be a larger trackpad, too.

Stay tuned

Invitations to the Apple March 2024 event could go out any day. And just be aware, the shindig might even happen in April if one of the computers isn’t ready to ship yet.

Whenever the festivities kick off, Cult of Mac will certainly cover all the announcements made when Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives take the stage.


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