Here's everything Apple killed at its May 7 Let Loose event: From the Lightning Connector to touch-screen laptops

Let Loose 2024
(Image credit: Future)
Apple Let Loose Event

Let Loose Live

(Image credit: Apple)

- Let Loose event LIVE — Everything announced at the Let Loose event, as it happens
OLED iPad Pro — M3 and a major display upgrade expected!
iPad Air 6 — Apple's thinnest and lightest tablet gets a new processor!
Apple Pencil 3 — Or should we say Apple Pencil Pro?

Apple events are always about the new, the exciting — but there’s always a bittersweet taste to proceedings, as Apple inevitably makes some of its best older hardware obsolete as it releases new stuff. It happens every time, and it never stops hurting.

This year, at the Let Loose event, Apple announced some very cool new iPads and a snazzy new Apple Pencil that’s earned itself the Pro moniker. In doing so, of course, some of our favorite devices are now going to be leaving the Apple Store for pastures new, or, as some might call it, “The kennel in the next State”. Here’s everything that Apple killed off with all its new announcements in the 'Let Loose' event.

1. iPad 9th gen

iPad 9th gen on a table

(Image credit: Future)

While the iPad 10th gen has received a price drop, the addition of the iPad Air 13-inch has shifted the product line a notch down. Now, the lineup starts with the iPad 10th gen, moves up to the iPad Air 6 in 11-inch and 13-inch forms, and then the expensive iPad Pro models. The iPad 9th gen has fallen off the end of the queue, and as a result, it’s leaving the Apple Store forever.

That’s the last of the Lightning iPads now gone from Apple’s website, leaving very few devices that still have Lightning connections. It’s no great surprise that the iPad 9th gen is on its way out — it’s been buyable since 2021 at this point, making it one of the oldest iPads that Apple sold up until the Let Loose event. If you want a budget iPad now, your only option is the $349 iPad 10. So long, sweet price, we’ll miss you.

2. Lightning in the iPad line

Lightning cable and iPhone port

(Image credit: Future)

We touched on this briefly above, but with the latest iPad reshuffle, there are now no new iPads that use the Lightning connector — they all use the USB-C connector instead. That, in the long run, is a good thing, as Apple is finally bringing all of its devices together so that you only need one chord when you're out and about.

That leaves only a few devices in the Apple Store with the connector, in the form of the AirPods 2,  the AirPods 3, the AirPods Max, the Magic Keyboard, and the Magic Mouse. Most of these are rumored to receive new updates at some point in the future, so it’s likely we’ll see the connector disappear completely fairly soon.

3. The Ultra Wide camera on the iPad Pro

iPad Pro 12.9-inch in iMore freelancer's office

(Image credit: Future/Lloyd Coombes)

While not many iPad Pro owners may have used it, there was an Ultra Wide camera on the back of the M2 iPad Pro — and the iPad Pro M4 has chosen to remove it from the camera square on the back. The LiDAR scanner remains alongside the 12MP primary shooter, and the front camera has now moved to the side of the device rather than the top, but the Ultra Wide lens is nowhere to be seen.

Will it be missed? Given there aren’t that many people beyond your Grandma on a trip to Nelson’s Column in London who use the cameras on their iPads for anything other than the quickest of snaps, we’re going to say no. Its omission does make the massive price tag sting a little though: Come on Apple, if you’re going to charge us more, don’t take stuff away.

4. Apple Pencil backward compatibility

Apple Pencil Pro and iPad Pro

(Image credit: Future)

This is a weird one, given that Apple Pencil compatibility has been all over the place for some time. Some Apple Pencils work with lower price iPads, but not with others, some won’t charge on other iPads, and some now will struggle to plug into all the iPads on sale without a charging dongle.

So the Apple Pencil range is already what could charitably called ‘a mess’, but how does the new Apple Pencil Pro fix things? Well, it makes things simpler in that it only works with the new iPads, the iPad Air 6, and the iPad Pro M4. Does this make the rest of the line any simpler? No, but it does mean that there’s a dearth of options if you want to use the features of the latest Apple Pencil. Got an old iPad? Tough luck, you’re going to have to buy a brand-new one, to the tune of at least $599. And it costs $129 for the Pencil itself. Great.

5. iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro M2

iPad Pro 12.9-inch in iMore freelancer's office

(Image credit: Future/Lloyd Coombes)

This one should be fairly obvious, but by virtue of releasing new options, Apple has now removed the old versions from the Apple Store, thus, killing them. You can still get one from Apple, mind you – you just have to head to the refurbished store instead.

In the case of the iPad Air, this isn’t a massive loss. The new one costs around the same as the outgoing model, and provides enough new stuff to justify its place in the line. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, has been replaced by something that costs $200 more, in both sizes, than the outgoing M2 Pros. That’s, for those good at math, a big difference in price, and while it makes sense with the spec boosts, it’s a lot to ask for a tablet.

6. Touch screen laptops

Let Loose 2024

(Image credit: Future)

Ok, so this one isn’t something from the Apple Store, but the new iPad Pro models and their aluminum Magic Keyboards just became the most tempting touchscreen laptops that you can buy. They’re unreasonably thin, with the larger 13-inch model coming in at 5.1mm thick without a keyboard, and incredibly powerful, making for one of the best portable touchscreen laptop experiences around.

They won’t be cheap however — a base model 13-inch iPad Pro is going to cost you $1,459 overall, which makes it more expensive than an M3 MacBook Air. That M4 chip is very tempting, mind you, and the Ultra Retina XDR display is going to blow that which you’ll find in the MacBook Air M3 out of the water.

7. Session Musicians

Logic Pro Drummer Feature

(Image credit: Apple)

In Logic Pro 2, Apple just added an entire feature that might have just made a whole subset of musicians completely jobless, in the form of what it's calling 'Session Players'. This new feature will give users the chance to use a new Bass Player and Keyboard Player addon, so that they can really do everything for their music themselves.

There are doubtless going to be some very cross musician when it comes to this new feature, although they're never going to hold a candle to a well practiced bass or keyboard player, just as digital drums still can't do — and that says nothing about the live performances. Either way, It's a new feature that mean some session musicians might now be out of some work.

In peace, let us take our old Apple gear to their place of rest

So, as another Apple event draws to a close, so too do some of the older devices on the Apple Store. We’ll miss them, that’s for sure, but we’ll soon be enjoying all the new stuff that Apple brought to the table instead — and we’ll enjoy it in memory of those we’ve left behind. 

Yet still, the slow march of time comes for us all whether we are Lightning connectors or an iPad 9th gen.

We're covering the Apple iPad event as it happens. Follow the Let Loose event LIVE here. Or check out our roundups for all the latest on the new OLED iPad ProiPad Air, and the new Apple Pencil

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.