What to expect from Apple in 2024

ipad pro 2022 software
The latest Apple iPad Pro (Image credit: Apple)

Apple had a strong 2023, with a raft of updates to their popular products, including the iPhone 15 Pro Max, MacBook Air 15-inch, and brand new M3-equipped MacBook Pros.

Apple's iPhone lineup continues to include some of the best camera phones out there, adding new sensors and an improved telephoto camera. Apple's iPad range still continues to dominate the tablet market as well as our list of best tablets for photo editing.

Last but certainly not least, Apple's latest M3 processors in its MacBook Pro range also bring even more power to photo and video editing, making the MacBooks some of the best photo-editing laptops on the planet. 

I can't wait to see what Apple has in store in 2024 and hope that it has a few shocking reveals for photographers and creatives alike. I have rounded up some of the most prominent rumors for what might be in store over the next 12 months, lets dig in.

iPhones

We are a very long way off the announcement of the iPhone 16 series of phones, with the iPhone 15s only just making its way into the hands of buyers just a few short months ago.

Apple's iPhone 15 devices, were another lineup of upgrades that have all made their way into our list of the best camera phones. Unless you are really into USB-C (which was finally added this year), it wasn't a headline year for Apple, with the regular iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro receiving just marginal improvements to the camera systems. The iPhone Pro Max was the only one to grab significant attention with the upgrade of its 3x camera to a 5x one, making it more competitive with the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Google Pixel 8 Pro.

What can we be sure of for 2024? Well, the release date of the iPhone 16 range is pretty much a certainty, coming at the end of October each year, so start saving now. Although this year Apple could potentially have a little more up its sleeve.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max (Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

iPhone 16 Pro & Pro Max

The most significant change slated for the iPhone 16 Pro series might be increased screen sizes. Both the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max look set to receive a bump in size, with the iPhone 16 Pro apparently going to 6.3 inches from the 6.1 inches of the current iPhone 15 Pro model, while the iPhone 16 Pro Max will receive an increase to 6.9 inches (up from the 15 Pro Max's 6.7 inches).

Camera-wise, the ultrawide camera might get some love with a new 48MP sensor. Ultrawide cameras have always seemed to get the worst of the sensors, so it would be great if Apple brought it up to the potential of the main sensor. 

Periscope camera rumors that dominated last year continue to pop up everywhere, with a potential 300mm 'super periscope' camera allegedly in the works, although Apple is very conservative with big camera updates, and with the 5x camera just out of the gates, I would take that with a pinch of salt.

As you would expect if you follow Apple's phones, is there of course going to be a new Apple A-series processor, that will undoubtedly offer performance gains over the previous generation, and with current trends, offer lots of new and exciting AI features as Apple plays catchup with ChatGPT and Google.

There are also some potential changes to the body design with the volume, power, and Action Button looking like they might be changed to capacitive (non-click) buttons. There are also mentions of a new "Capture" button, although how this would be used or more useful than current methods remains to be seen.

iPhone 16

Don't expect a huge change from last year's standard iPhone models. Apple seems quite happy to just pass down upgrades slowly from the Pro models from the previous couple of generations, keeping the iPhone Pro and Pro Max as the latest and greatest.

Apple will likely still continue on with both the standard model and the larger Plus model, with both models keeping the same screen dimensions. The only other thing to look out for is a bump in processor from this year's 15 Pro, and possibly some new camera sensors inherited from this year's models as well.

Apple iPhone 15 (Image credit: Future)

iPhone SE

There is no concrete evidence of when we are going to see the next iPhone SE, or even if Apple is going to make another entry-level iPhone, as it seems quite content selling its older iPhone models for lower prices. Most speculation suggests that we won't see a new SE until 2025, but plans can change quite quickly, especially when a phone contains mostly old parts.

These unknowns haven't stopped people from speculating on what a potential new iPhone SE might include. The most prominent rumors suggest that the iPhone SE might re-use the iPhone 14 body, which would not only increase the screen size to a 6.1-in panel but would also be the first time an SE device has used Apple's Face ID instead of the fingerprint reader and home button.

Any iPhone SE would also have to ship with a USB-C port to comply with new EU rules, so this would mark the end of the final current Apple phone with a Lightning connector, and might expedite the SE 4's announcement.

iPads

Apple's iPads continue to dominate the tablet market, although there is very little giving them serious cause for concern with Microsoft's Surface Pro lineup becoming a little stale, and Google's Pixel Tablet going for the smart home entertainment angle rather than a serious computing device.

Going into 2024, it doesn't look like Apple with add or remove any devices from its current stable of iPads, with Apple's lineup continuing with the top-end iPad Pro range as a serious laptop replacement device, the mid-tier iPad Air for getting stuff done on the go, the iPad, the cheapest tablet aimed squarely at entertainment, and the little iPad Mini for note taking and pocket productivity. 

iPad Pro

The new iPad Pro looks set for a 2024 release to potentially coincide with the release of iPadOS 17.4 in March. 

The most notable change anticipated for the iPad Pro is the adoption of an OLED display compared to the existing mini-LED technology in the 12.9-inch model. OLED has the potential for crisper, brighter visuals, and more accurate color reproduction. There's talk of the 12.9-inch model making a slight shift to a 13-inch screen, however, reports suggest that the 11-inch tablet won't see a size increase.

Another potential upgrade on the horizon is a new glass back for the iPad Pro. Transitioning to a glass back could enable wireless charging for the upcoming iPad Pro and even introduce a form of reverse wireless charging. Could Apple be preparing a similar Google Pixel Tablet experience with a smart speaker dock?

The bad news, speculation also suggests a potential price increase for the rumored OLED iPad Pro, possibly reaching a steep $1,800 for a revamped 13-inch model, with all the models having some level of price increase. This put it over the price of the MacBook Air before even adding a keyboard or mouse, that better be one nice screen!

(Image credit: Capture One)

iPad Air

As I repeat every year, I am of course expecting Apple to bump its iPad Air processor one generation higher. The previous iPad Air is still holding onto the M1 Silicon, so it's likely that the 6th Gen iPad Air would include the M2 chip, which would separate it from the iPad Pro which is expected to get the shiny new M3 processor.

Rumors suggest Apple might be toying with the idea of a larger iPad Air version for 2024. The speculation gained traction due to two codenames associated with the new iPad Air: J507 and J508, a trend seen with the iPad Pro, which comes in two sizes. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo added fuel to the fire by claiming the iPad Air will come in the familiar 10.9-inch and an all-new 12.9-inch model.

Rumors also suggest that Apple will buck the price inflation that has been a hallmark of 2023 and will keep the 2024 iPad Air price the same as the current generation, and with a rumored price hike for the iPad Pro this might make the Air seem even better value.

Macs

In 2023 Apple continued its run of updating its usual stable of devices with its latest and most powerful chips – starting the year with the incredibly powerful M2 Max and M2 Ultra in the Mac Studio.

Apple also introduced the first brand-new MacBook in a few years with a 15-inch version of the MacBook Air, which alongside the 13-inch version was updated with an M2 chip. Finishing the year strong, Apple also updated its MacBook Pro range, giving us the first glimpse at the M3 chips that are sure to dominate Apple's update cycle in 2024.

Apple MacBook Pro (M3, 2023) (Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

MacBooks

We have probably seen all we are going to from the MacBook Pro range until next fall when Apple will likely be ready to show off the MacBook Pro with M4 Silicon.

Rumors are fairly quiet this far out from release, but we wouldn't expect much to change about next year MacBook's with Apple seemingly settled on a design it is happy with, banishing the final MacBook with the Touchbar from this year's lineup. 

Except for the expected newer processor, other upgrades would most likely be iterative, with bumps to screen technology, USB-C speeds, or some weight savings.

The MacBook Air got the M2 chip last year. Based on current rumors, don't expect much beyond an upgrade to the latest M3 chip, and maybe some fun new color options. 

If the 13-in and 15-in will get upgraded at the same time though remains to be seen, as the 15-inch with M2 is only a few months old. This would simplify Apple's updates going forward, and give customers better side-by-side comparisons, so I would argue its a good idea, but Apple and its supply chain might not agree.

Apple MacBook Air 15 (M2, 2023) (Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Apple makes a lot more beyond what I have discussed here, and we are likely to see a lot of other updates coming to Apple's ecosystem, with potential upgrades to its Watches, AirPods range, Beats headphones, AirTags, and more.

What else might we see making its way from the depths of Apple's R&D department next year? Stay tuned for all the latest Apple rumors. 

In the meantime, you can also find all the latest Apple gear in our guides to the best camera phones, the best tablets for photo editing, and the best photo-editing laptops.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.