February 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Apple has just broken a 12-year tradition

Apple has just broken a 12-year tradition

Apple has broken a tradition it has maintained for 12 years, releasing no new iPads in 2023 – the first time the company has chosen not to release a new tablet in an entire calendar year since introducing the product line.


Since its debut in 2010, the iPad has been an important product for Apple and a clear leader in the tablet market, releasing at least one new model every year. Recently, the company has released as many as four new iPad models per year. Before 2023, 2009 was the last year in which there were no new iPads, simply because the production line had not yet been launched.

The latest iPad was launched in October 2022. The only device adjacent to the iPad released in 2023 was the Apple Pencil with a USB-C port.

  • 2010: iPad (1st generation)
  • 2011: iPad 2
  • 2012: iPad (3rd generation), iPad (4th generation), iPad mini (1st generation)
  • 2013: iPad Air (1st generation) and iPad mini 2
  • 2014: iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3
  • 2015: iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
  • 2016: iPad Pro 9.7 inches
  • 2017: iPad (5th generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation), iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • 2018: iPad (6th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation), and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
  • 2019: iPad (7th generation), iPad Air (3rd generation), and iPad mini (5th generation)
  • 2020: iPad (8th generation), iPad Air (4th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation), and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
  • 2021: iPad (9th generation), iPad mini (6th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation), and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
  • 2022: iPad (10th generation), iPad Air (5th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (4th generation), and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation)
  • 2023: no one

This gap in new iPad releases is noteworthy given the history of the product line and could signal a moment of reflection about the direction of the device. As the iPad has become more advanced and more widely adopted, the urgency for frequent upgrades has diminished for many potential customers. This shift in consumer behavior could have prompted Apple to reevaluate its tablet strategy, focusing on more impactful, less frequent hardware updates.

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Another aspect to consider is the criticism Apple has faced regarding the increasing complexity of the iPad lineup and questions about the direction of iPadOS. By taking a year off from new releases, Apple may be planning to reshape the lineup with a clearer sense of purpose moving forward.

Rumors and analyst forecasts suggest that 2024 will be an even more important year for the iPad range, with each model, including the entry-level iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air and iPad Pro, expected to receive a hardware refresh. With the introduction of the 12.9-inch iPad Air, 2024 could see Apple launch an unprecedented six iPad models in a single calendar year. The flagship iPad Pro is expected to offer at least a dozen new features, including OLED display technology, an M3 chip, and a new “laptop-like” keyboard accessory.