In a big surprise, Apple may actually roll out its much-delayed artificial intelligence features on May 7 in the form of the iPad Pro. It was widely expected that Apple will do the AI launch in June during its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) event. This would have been a part of the reveal of the latest Apple operating system, iOS 18. The release to the general public was expected to happen even later, sometime in September along with the launch of the iPhone 16 series.

Apple is likely to roll out the iPad Pro 2024 with a new AI-enabled chip on May 7, according to a report.(AP)

However, with iPhone sales not picking up as much as possible and many analysts branding iPads as a thing of the past, Apple is likely looking at ensuring that the iPad stays very much alive in the market and to make sure it is capable of doing cutting-edge AI work.

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Apple is expected to launch the new iPad Pro, two new iPad Air models, an Apple Pencil and a keyboard on May 7. The surprise here is that an iPad, probably the Pro model, may pack a very powerful processor that can handle AI capabilities. Again, this processor was expected to be rolled out months later. In fact, the launch of such processors, last time around, happened in October (M3 chips) Now, it is expected that Apple’s next-generation processor, the M4, may be packed into the new iPad Pro.

Bloomberg columnist Mark Gurman has said, in his latest Power On newsletter, “The new iPad Pro will kick off Apple’s shift into AI hardware.”

Gurman even added, “I’m hearing there is a strong possibility that the chip in the new iPad Pro will be the M4, not the M3. Better yet, I believe Apple will position the tablet as its first truly AI-powered device….”

And why is Apple pulling off this surprise? Gurman says, “This, of course, is all in response to the AI craze that has swept the tech industry over the last couple years.”

In fact, CEO Tim Cook too has emphasised that for Apple, AI is a priority now.

Will it actually happen? While some analysts are pretty certain, like Gurman, who has made it a habit of forecasting correctly what Apple may roll out in its products, others are not so sure. Apple itself is known to be very secretive and never announces anything before the launch. So, for confirmation, everyone will have to wait till May.

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