It is thought that Apple will unveil the iPad Air 3 alongside the new 4-inch iPhone and the Apple Watch 2 at an event on March 21.
Although the popularity of tablets is dipping on the whole, Apple could be about to regain the title of best tablet with the iPad Air 3. Here is a roundup of the rumors that have been flying around so far.
It looks likely that the iPad Air 3 will feature the same design as the larger iPad Pro, with four speakers and a Smart Connector. This is based on leaked cases and sketches, which also show an LED flash cutout next to the rear camera.
The leaked cases suggest that the iPad Air 3 will be 0.05mm thicker and 0.1mm wider than the iPad Air 2. It sounds as though Apple will use the 7000-series aluminum alloy used on the latest iPhone and Apple Watch on the new tablet, although no other iPads are.
Rumors suggest that the new tablet will provide support for the Apple Pencil, but probably won’t have 3D Touch. However it will support biometric security and Apple Pay thanks to the TouchID scanner in the home button.
Ming Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities who has a stellar reputation when it comes to predicting Apple features, said that 3D Touch is unlikely due to production issues. The fact that the feature was missing from the top of the range iPad Pro is another clue that it probably won’t be included here.
If, as predicted, the iPad Air 3 includes the A9X chipset and 4GB of RAM, it would be the fastest 9.7-inch tablet in the world. With those specs the new tablet would match the iPad Pro in offering laptop-like power in tablet form.
According to some rumors the iPad Air 3 could feature a 4K-resolution IPS LCD screen, which would be a crazy upgrade. It seems unlikely given that it didn’t include 4K on Apple TV nor the iPad Pro, which has a 2732 x 2048 resolution.
If it were to include 4K on the iPad Air 3, the screen would place enormous demands on performance and battery life.
The latest leaks show that the new tablet will have an LED flash below the rear camera, which will allow for better shots at night. It seems likely that the camera itself will be the same 8MP iSight camera found on the iPad Pro.
iPad Air 3 release date and price
Apple could choose to announce the iPad Air 3 alongside the 4-inch iPhone and an upgraded Apple Watch. An event is scheduled to take place on March 21 in Cupertino. Looking at the history of Apple tablet releases gives us a better idea of the probability.
Ever since the 4th generation iPad and iPad mini, released in October 2012, Apple has been announcing new tablets in October. However before that the company announced its tablets in Q1, including the original iPad, iPad 2 and iPad 3.
When it comes to pricing, it looks as though the iPad Air 3 will cost the same as the iPad Air 2 at launch date. Therefore the breakdown will be $499/$599/$699 for the 16GB/64GB/128GB models.
As it stands Apple fans will be able to choose from Silver, Gold and Space Gray. Could Apple be about to add another color scheme to keep us on our toes? Rumors always swirl that the company will release a pink version of the iPad, could this be the time?