Apple Event Rumors: iPad Pro With M4 Chip and New Apple Pencil With Haptic Feedback

In his Power On newsletter today, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman outlined some of the new products he expects Apple to announce at its "Let Loose" event on May 7.

First, Gurman now believes there is a "strong possibility" that the upcoming iPad Pro models will be equipped with Apple's next-generation M4 chip, rather than the M3 chip that debuted in the MacBook Pro and iMac six months ago. He said a key new feature of the M4 chip will be an upgraded Neural Engine that boosts performance for AI tasks, and he believes Apple will market the next iPad Pro as an AI-powered device.

Second, he said that the new Apple Pencil that is expected to be announced at the event will feature haptic feedback for the first time. While he did not provide any details about how this will work, perhaps the Apple Pencil will have a small Taptic Engine that vibrates when switching between drawing tools, and using the rumored "squeeze" gesture that MacRumors previously discovered within the iPadOS 17.5 beta's code.

Third, he reiterated that Apple will introduce a first-ever 12.9-inch version of the iPad Air, and a redesigned Magic Keyboard for iPads.

Apple's event begins on May 7 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (10 a.m. Eastern Time), with a video stream to be available on and on YouTube.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: iPad Accessories

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Top Rated Comments

klasma Avatar
4 weeks ago
Maybe Gurman misunderstood and it is using M4 screws.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boak Avatar
4 weeks ago
Skipping a gen for the chip while going OLED + redesign? Too many upgrades in one update. Does not sound like Apple.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Geoffb9 Avatar
4 weeks ago
This guy keeps saying anything and at some point he'll get something right.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
4 weeks ago
There are no "in stone" patterns in only 3 iterations of anything. In only one generation upgrade, we believed we saw a pattern of M-base, then M-pro & max months later, then M-ultra months later.

Then, MBpros introduced all but M-ultra at the same time in the third generation thrashing that pattern we believed would persist.

We have a much longer history of next-gen chip advances starting with iPhone. But nothing forces that or demands it. Mac is its own thing. iPad is somewhat its own thing.

Anything can happen.

Only some speculative rationale why this rumor could play out:

* M4 is ready now. If there's enough N3E available to fulfill orders, would it make any sense to hold it back for iPhone orders (first) SIX months from now? If as rumor suggests, production of N3E started in December, the technology would already be about 10 months old by the time the first iPhone N3E owner opened their box. If it's ready, it's ready. Ship!
* M4 (N3E) is cheaper than M3 (N3B) and Apple wants the extra profit. Another view of the same through Executive lenses: another year of less margin with N3B M3 or go N3E M4 now and bank the extra profit? I know, I know: it's quite challenging to think what modern Apple Inc. would choose. ;)
* The "unfixable hack hole" in M1-M3 means there's ever-growing legal risk for each additional M1-M3 product sold. M4 may close that hole, cutting off the size of the eventual class action settlement. If this, I'd expect a very fast transition to M4 everything ASAP... like crazy fast, as in some launches at WWDC and some more launches out in the summer somewhere vs. waiting until the usual Fall times.
* M4 Ultra is ready now/very soon, so a new Mac Pro & Studio Ultra could launch at the same event or soon after too. Rumors & logic say those are also the most profitable Macs on a per-unit-sold basis. Would Apple be interested in flipping the apparent order of things to lead off with the most profitable Macs first? Would Apple dare release Studio Ultra now and wait on Studio Max until later (again, if about double the "starting at" is more profitable)? ???Those who burn for highest number painted on the chip inside might be moved to go Ultra instead of waiting for PRO & MAX or BASE. Those who burn for "most powerful Mac" would retain that hold for an entire year (until next Ultra) instead of losing "king of that hill" in only months when the next-gen MAX rolls out with comparable and sometimes superior power specs. There has already been rumors that Mac Pro and Studio may just leap to M4. After all, isn't it too late for them to roll out with M3 Ultra this close to the probable launch of M4 MAX in the Fall? We're well beyond March now.
* M4 is loaded with A.I. hardware needed to spin A.I. at WWDC that may/probably lacks full capabilities to function on M1-M3 everything. Imagine the angst if they roll out some new M3 hardware this close to WWDC and then verbally obsolete it by making key "gee whiz" A.I. M4 only just weeks from now.

The #1 counter to the rumor is this perceived pattern or order of things... that iPhone must be first and that we think we have M-series sequences worked out in only 2.5 generations of M-series rollouts. Nothing says either of those is absolute "must." Apple could alter any apparent pattern at any time... including chip name & number too. The next chip could by N20, or Q91, or KuKuCaChoo 100 Squared.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Populus Avatar
4 weeks ago
Oh? Now Gurman believes it’s likely we see an M4 powering the next iPad Pro? After we’ve been discussing it for well over a week…
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Delivered Avatar
4 weeks ago
Wow. That would be something if apple debuted the m4 on an iPad Pro months after releasing m3 on MacBook Air. ? I’m going to say this isn’t going to happen and hope I’m wrong.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)