What to expect from Apple’s May 7 “Let loose” event

A colorful Apple log with an Apple Pencil inside it, with the copy
Enlarge / The promotional image for Apple’s May 7 event.


On May 7, Apple will host a product announcement event at 9 am ET. Labeled “Let loose,” we expect it will focus on new iPads and iPad accessories.

We won’t be liveblogging the stream, but you can expect some news coverage as it happens. Below, we’ll go over our educated guesses about why Apple might be doing this.

Why hold an event now?

It’s unusual for Apple to host an event shortly before WWDC. New products debut at that event all the time, so if it’s just a faster chip and a nicer screen for the iPad Pro and iPad Air, why not wait until June?

We’re not completely sure what the answer is, but we can make educated guesses.

Apple has been criticized by commentators over the past few weeks for three things. First, iPads have not been selling well. Second: While the Vision Pro introduced a new product category that may grow over time, its initial launch didn’t sell that well. Lastly, Apple is perceived by many as way, way behind on generative AI tech, which is already transforming other companies. There have also been rumors that Microsoft might announce a new silicon that will be fiercely competitive with Apple Silicon for AI tasks, and Microsoft’s chips could be announced at a planned event between May 7 and the start of WWDC.

Given all that, our best guess is that Apple wants to focus its messaging—and the time window for that messaging—on the right targets without muddying the message by trying to address everything at once.

Talking about the iPad’s challenges while also preempting Microsoft with a new chip announcement could be Apple’s focus for this event. Getting those things out of the way now would allow WWDC and its new operating system announcements to focus heavily on AI, which is the bigger question the company is looking to answer.

What new iPads might look like

Given that an Apple Pencil is in the event’s promotional image—a much more explicit hint than Apple usually provides—there’s no question iPads will be a focus.

As is often the case these days, we have a plethora of leaks, supply chain reports, and, of course, insider reporting at sites like Bloomberg and The Information to give us a rough idea of what to expect from Apple’s new hardware.

iPad Pro

It’s likely that the star of the show will be a significant redesign of the iPad Pro for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes.

Both are rumored to get OLED displays, a huge step up over the LCD display in the current 11-inch iPad Pro. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a MiniLED display, which competes directly with OLED in the consumer TV space, so it won’t be as big a leap for that device, but we can still expect better contrast and richer colors.

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