iPad Air 3: What to expect from Apple?

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The iPad Air 3 is expected in the relatively early months of 2016, and there is already a significant amount of information seeping out about this forthcoming tablet. But the latest reports suggest that Apple will not include the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display that debuted in the iPhone 6S.

Kuo speaks on iPad Air 3

According to the by now renowned KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Ku, Apple will not be utilizing the 3D Touch system in the forthcoming iPad Air 3. Kuo has particularly cited problems with the supply chain for 3D Touch components, which ensures that it is logistically impossible for Apple to include this technology in this generation of the iPad Air series. It is possible that Apple will reassess the situation in future iPad releases.

Kuo in fact suggests that 3D Touch is causing the Apple supply chain major difficulties, going as far as to describe the situation as “one of the most severe production bottlenecks in iPhone 6s supply chain”. This has played a major role in the Apple supply chain being currently below 30 percent utilization according to reports, and it is clear that this is a situation that Apple needs to address.

The high-end iPad Pro currently doesn’t feature 3D Touch, and it seems unlikely that this feature will now see the light of day in 2016. Rumors are abound that the iPad Air 3 will launch in the first quarter of 2016, with some date in March looking to be a likelihood.

No-one is quite sure what to expect from the iPad in terms of specifications, but there have been a few specific specs linked with the device ahead of its release. The first of these is that the iPad Air 3 could be armed with an A9X processor. Apple will be looking to beef up the performance of the iPad Air series when the iPad Air 3 launches, even though the previous tablet was certainly both a commercial and critical success for the corporation.

With camera technology becoming increasingly important in the consumer electronics niche, it is also predicted that the next generation iPad Air 3 will feature an eight-megapixel rear camera. Tablets are never exactly the ideal devices with which to take photographs, but it seems that Apple wants the iPad Air 3 snapper to be at least as good as the one currently included in the iPhone 6S.


The general consensus of market analysts is that Apple will freeze the price of the iPad Air 3 when it is released next year. This is the definitive tablet in the marketplace, but considering the extent to which the niche has been stalling, the iPad Air 3 isn’t guaranteed the sort of success required To enable Apple to be aggressive with pricing.


One of the possible improvements that Apple could make with the iPad Air 3 is to offer significantly more storage. Indeed, many critics and fans of the series have suggested that the existing 16GB set aside for storing information on the tablet is pretty lame. Applications and operating system requirements are becoming increasingly demanding with the iPad range, and a base requirement of the 32GB would seem to be a sensible shift when the iPad Air 3 releases.


Specifications for the iPad Air 3 are certainly very much at the speculation stage, but several have emerged from the rumor mill that seem to be plausible. Perhaps the most interesting of these relates to the display included in the iPad Air 3, with many analysts suggesting that we will see Apple introduce a 4K screen resolution of 2,334 x 3,112 pixels. This would represent a significant step forward from the 1,536 x 2,048 resolution of the iPad Air 2.

Apple has concentrated on producing devices with outstanding resolutions in recent releases, with the consumer electronics giant introducing both a 5K 27-inch iMac alongside a 21-inch 4K version. It seems that it is now ready to significantly improve the screen in the iPad Air 3 as well, getting on the board with the increasing prominence of 4K resolution in the general culture.

It is also suggested that the iPad Air 3 will be powered by Apple’s latest A9 or A9X chipset, and between 2GB and 4GB of RAM, as Apple looks for significant improvements with the performance of the tablet.

Finally, the iPad air series has probably become particularly successful owing to the fact that its design is an iconic one for Apple. With this in mind, the corporation is continually looking to improve the design parameters of its devices, and it is believed that it will once again update the iPad range when the iPad Air 3 is released.

In particular, this will involve the iPad Air 3 unit being around 5mm thick, slimmer than any previous iPad tablets. But it is also suggested, in accordance with the iPhone 7, that the iPad Air 3 will be both water and dust resistant. This would potentially make the iPad Air 3 the second device that Apple has released, following the Apple Watch, to achieve an IP rating.

Battery surprise

However, it has also been reported that the battery capacity in the iPad Air 3 will be reduced significantly from the 7,340mAh cell used in the iPad Air 2. While no clear sources have emerged for this particular murmuring, it would make sense if Apple is indeed intending to produce a slimmer tablet. Perhaps it will be possible for the corporation to achieve the same battery life as in the previous iteration via software savings, though.

One final suggestion about the iPad Air 3 is that Apple will wait to assess the success or otherwise of the iPad Pro before making a final decision on the release date of the iPad Air 3. Apple’s tablet strategy has been aimed at revitalizing what was to some extent a stalling niche, and the iPad Pro is essential in this overarching approach.

Nonetheless, it seems that we could see a 4K iPad Air 3 emerge in Q1 2016, and from Apple’s perspective this should hopefully encourage consumers to purchase the device in large numbers.

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