2024 iPad Pro

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In my take on the 2024 iPad Pro I am going to look at things through three lenses and after the initial hot takes have cooled down. These three lenses are:

  • Hardware
  • Semiconductors
  • Advertisement

Apple and Microsoft both push their most powerful tablets like the 2024 iPad Proas creator tools. However, at the time of writing I have been working alongside creative teams in a prominent ad agency and both the creative and strategic elements of the work we were doing were pulled together using different software, but the same hardware. Apple MacBook Pro computers and large secondary monitors. An illustrator attached a ‘graphics tablet‘ alongside their laptop to provide additional tactile control, just in the same way I am known to use an outboard Kensington trackball for additional fine control in creating presentation charts.

Where I have seen iPads used:

  • Senior (older executives) replying to emails – I suspect its because the screen is bigger than a smartphone.
  • As a media player device. The iPad is the travel and bedside equivalent of the book and the portable DVD player.
  • As a presentation device. Friends that give a lot of public presentations at conferences and one who works as a university lecturer both use the iPad as device to present from in place of lugging around a laptop.

In all of these use cases, there isn’t that much to differentiate iPad models and the main limitations are user intent or software-related.

My parents use an iPad I’ve bought them to keep in touch with me. We started using an iPad as a Skype client over a decade ago. Then iMessage and FaceTime started to make more sense, particularly has they started getting Skype spam. It’s the computing equivalent of a kitchen appliance: largely intuitive and very little can go really wrong – that’s both the iPad’s strength and its weakness.

Secondly, there is the confusion of the Apple iPad product line-up, which is at odds with the way Apple got its second wind. In Walter Isaacson’s flawed autobiography of Steve Jobs, one of the standout things that the returning CEO did was ruthlessly prune the product line-up.

He made it into a 2 x 2 grid: professional and consumer, portable and desktop. For most of past number of years, the iPhone has gone down this ‘pro and consumer’ split.

The iPad line-up is less clear cut to the casual observer:

  • iPad Mini
  • iPad
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Pro

In addition, there are Apple pencils – a smarter version of the stylus that used to be used prior to capacitive touchscreens became commonplace. Some of these pencils work with some devices, but not others. It’s a similar case, with other Apple accessories like keyboards that double as device covers. All of which means that your hardware accessories need an upgrade too. This is more than just getting a new phone case. It’s more analogous to having to buy a new second monitor or mouse every time you change your computer.

With all of that out of the way, let’s get into hardware.


The 2024 iPad Pro launched before the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, so we had no idea how the device will work together in conjunction with iPadOS 18. Addressing long term criticism of using the iPad is as much about software as it is about hardware.

The 2024 iPad Pro still doesn’t have a definitive user case, but Apple decided to focus on creativity in their marketing.

Presumably this is because the main thing to celebrate about the 2024 iPad Pro is increased computing power and creative apps are the most likely to make use of that power. For many ‘non-creative’ use cases, the previous generation of iPad Pro is very over-powered for what it does.

Some of the choices Apple made with the hardware are interesting. The existing iPad Pro is a thin, lightweight computing device. The 2024 iPad Pro is Apple’s thinnest device ever. This thinness is a clever feat of engineering, but so would be an iPad of the same size, but with more battery capacity. Instead Apple made the device made things a bit thinner device with exactly the same battery life as previous models.

The iPad Pro uses two screens one behind the other to provide deeper and brighter colours at a resolution that’s extremely high. This provides additional benefits such as avoiding screen burn-in which OLED screens were considered to be vulnerable to.

The camera has moved from the side to the top of the 2024 iPad Pro in landscape mode. This has necessitated a new arrangement of magnets for attachments, which then drove the need for new accessories including the new Apple pencil pro.


The M4 processor is Apple’s latest silicon design and represents a move on from the current processors in Apple’s Mac range.

It is made by TSMC on a leading edge 3 nanometre process. This is TSMC’s second-generation process. Having it as the processor in the 2024 iPad Pro, allows Apple and partners to slowly ramp up production and usage of the new processor to match gains in semiconductor chip yields. This will give them the time to iron out any production challenges and resolve any quality issues. Relatively low production volumes would be a good thing, prior to the processor being rolled out more widely.

Apple seems to be designing the M-series processors in parallel to the A-series processors used in iPhones and iPads in the past. They seem to have them in mind for a wider range of devices.


Apple previewed an advertisement to promote the 2024 iPad Pro.

Crush has been executed with a high degree of craft in the production. It had a lot of negative reactions from celebrities and current Apple customers who saw it in terms of:

  • It being a wider metaphor of what technology was perceived to be doing to creativity. For instance, Hollywood actors and screen-writers are concerned about streaming and the effects of large language models.
  • Destroying real-life artefacts that consumers have attached meaning to. For instance, I use digital music, but also have a physical music collection that not only reflects my taste, but much more. Real-world experiences now provide respite from the digital world.

With product launches like the iPhone 3, Apple created adverts which were less of a literal metaphor for everything that could be crammed into the device by using show-and-tell.

Reversing the Crush! ad makes a similar point, but in a less oppressive way.

And as with everything else in life, there is seldom a time when an idea is truly new. There was an ad done by BBH London which used a crush metaphor to demonstrate all the features in LG’s Renoir phone circa 2008. As this circulated around Apple was perceived as being a copycat.


Given that Apple events are now largely virtual post-COVID we didn’t have a positive live audience reaction amongst those who ‘got it’ to guide public opinion. Instead it was left on social media ‘contextless’.

The Apple exhibition centre at the new ‘space ship’ campus, doesn’t seem to be used in the same way that Apple did live events prior to 2020. Apple held small event screenings for journalists in New York and London.

But was Crush! bad?

When I first saw it, I thought that it was good from a craft point of view. I was a bit surprised at how dark the lighting was, it felt a little off-key.

My personal opinion about the concept was that it felt a bit heavy-handed because it was so literal. The creative brief done by a strategist is usually the jumping off point, not the literal creative concept.

But that doesn’t make it bad advert, it just felt not particularly clever for someone who is probably more media-literate than the average person. I would go as far as to say, it would have been unlikely to win creative advertising awards.

But I was also aware that my opinion didn’t mean that the ad wouldn’t be effective. Given the 2024 iPad Pro’s role as M4 guinea pig, Apple probably weren’t hoping for barn-storming sales figures and in the grand scheme of things the advert just wasn’t extremely important.

I was probably as blindsided as Apple was by the depth of feeling expressed in the online reaction.

TL;DR I don’t know if Crush! really is ‘bad’. Let’s ask some specific questions about different aspects of the ad.

Am I, or the negative responders the target market?

Maybe, or maybe not. I don’t have a place in it in my current workflow. I still find that a Mac works as my primary creative technology device. What about if Apple were aiming at college kids and first jobbers? These people wouldn’t come to buying the 2024 iPad Pro with the same brand ‘baggage’ that me and many of the commentators have.

Working in marketing, the 1984 ad and the Think Different ads were campaigns were classics. Hell, I can remember being a bit of an oddball at college as a Mac user. I helped friends get their secondhand Mac purchases up and running.

Going to coffee shops or working in the library and seeing a see of laptop lids emblazoned with the Dell, Gateway, Toshiba and H-P logos. If people were a bit quirky they may have a Sony Vaio instead.

I remember the booes and the hisses in the audience at MacWorld Boston in 1997, when Apple announced its partnership with Microsoft.

Even when I worked at Yahoo! during the web 2.0 renaissance, Mac users were second-class citizens internally and externally in terms of our product offering.

In the eyes of young people today Apple was always there, front and centre. The early iPad or iPhone experience as pacifier. The iPhone has must-have teenage smartphone. The Mac at home and maybe an Apple TV box.

Finally many high performing adverts of the past aimed at young adults have left the mainstream media and tastemakers non-plussed.

How did the ad test?

According to anecdotal evidence I have heard from people at IPSOS; in a survey they found that about half the respondents surveyed said they would be interested in finding out more about the 2024 iPad Pro. The younger the respondent, the more likely they were to be interested in the device.

System 1, tested the ad and found that it performed 1.9 out of a possible maximum score of 5. In System 1 parlance this indicates somewhere between low and modest long term brand growth derived from the advertisement. The average score for US advertisements is 2.3. But over half of ads that were run in the Super Bowl this year scored between 1 and 2. Which would imply that the ad could be improved; but the devil might be in the details as implied by the IPSOS research.

Is Crush! just a copy cat?

You can have the best creative director in the world who has seen a lot of advertising, but they might not know all advertising. Secondly, the advertising industry is getting rid of long term professionals. According to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising no one retired from the industry in 2023, as staff were ‘phased out‘ of the industry way before retirement age. All of which means that there isn’t the historical memory to know if a campaign is sailing close to plagiarism.

And it isn’t just advertising. Earlier in my career, I got to see former business journalist and newspaper editor Damian McCrystal speak at a breakfast event. One thing stayed with me about his presentation, in which he talked about the financial industry:

The reasons why we make the same mistakes over-and-over again is because ‘the city’ has a collective institutional memory of about eight years.

Damien McCrystal

So we had Northern Rock, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, despite the fact that pretty much every financier I have ever met had read Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis. This was based on his experiences as a banker navigating the Savings and Loans scandal of the 1980s and 1990s.

So no, despite the similarity of the LG Renoir advertisement, I don’t think that Crush! was an intentional copy.

More related content can be found here.

More information

Some thoughts about Apple’s new iPads | Ian Betteridge

The M4 iPad Pros | Daring Fireball

Brief Thoughts and Observations on Yesterday’s ‘Let Loose’ iPad Keynote | Daring Fireball

How Apple’s ‘tone deaf’ iPad ad signals a turning point | FT

Apple’s New iPad Ad Leaves Its Creative Audience Feeling … Flat – The New York Times

Apple’s new iPad ad has struck a nerve online. Here’s why | AP News

Commentary: Apple’s tone-deaf iPad ad triggers our darkest AI fears – CNA

The Fat iPhone, 11 years on: The iPad’s over a decade old and we’re still not sure what it’s for • The Register

12 things I learned by switching from the 13-inch MacBook Pro to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro | Macworld