The newest reports on Apple products suggest that the company might be launching three new devices next month. If the rumors are true, the company will unveil the much-awaited set of new Apple Watch bands, four-inch iPhone 5se, as well as iPad Air 3 on Tuesday, March 15.
While Apple product consumers have waited a long time for the release of these devices, the iPad Air 3 could be considered the most anticipated device of 2016.
The iPad Air 3, the first upgrade to its tablet line since the October 2014 release of iPad Air 2, will be coming to stores in just a month, although Apple is still keeping the details about this third generation iPad Air a secret.
Apple will announce 4-inch iPhone, iPad Air 3, and Watch improvements in March: https://t.co/XH9N2RSTOl pic.twitter.com/lgkBfhmsZk
— Fast Company (@FastCompany) February 6, 2016
Multiple sources have shared their opinions and educated guesses about its price, specifications, and other important features. Recent rumors are hinting on similarities between the iPad Air 3 and iPad Pro. Some believe it could surpass the iPad Pro's capabilities, while some analysts disagree that there will be a massive upgrade in its performance.
Smart Connector Port and LED Flash
According to multiple sources, the iPad Air 3 will feature a Smart Connector Port, similar to the one found in the iPad Pro, which will enable users to attach other accessories like a keyboard. Air 3 is also rumored to have an enhanced speaker system with four separate units and an LED flash for the rear cameras, an improvement that can be seen for the first time in any iPad model.
With these new developments, expect the iPad Air 3 to be a bit thicker and larger than the iPad Pro and Air 2. According to rumors, leaked images of cases for the Air 3 suggest that the design is somewhat similar to the iPad Pro and Air 2; it also looked similar to the Air 2.
Despite the new iPad Pro-ish hardware, iPad Air 3 shouldn't come in much larger than Air 2. https://t.co/xQQhFkc5PL pic.twitter.com/rYmgvpTm38
— Pocketnow (@Pocketnow) February 1, 2016
Based on the leaked photos and the fact that it includes a Smart Connector and speaker ports, the iPad Air 3 will be 0.05mm thicker and 0.1 mm wider than its predecessor.
Critics also believe that it will run on iOS 9 (version 9.3) operating system, and they predict that it will be able to run on iOS 10, which is expected to be unveiled in June and will be released at the same time as the iPhone 7 in September.
However, the only feature lacking in the Air 3 may be 3D Touch, a unique pressure-sensitive display found in the iPhone models released last year. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI Securities, believes that 3D touch will not be present in the upcoming tablet because of production issues.
iPad Air 3 Cases to Fit Four Speakers, Rear Flash, and Smart Connector Appear https://t.co/F2nrvgBh6H by @eslivka pic.twitter.com/PnE6fYmbtF
— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) January 31, 2016
Tech critics are wondering whether the Air 3 will be powered by the A9X chip, which also powers the iPad Pro, or 6S' A9 chip. The Air 2, which is powered by A8X, boasts of its battery life of roughly 10 hours between charges.
Some predict that the touchscreen for the iPad Air 3 will be able to support the Apple Pencil, which was launched together with the iPad Pro last year. Rumors also claim that the company could use the iPad Air 3 to test their improved low-light shooting technology that it plans to incorporate in the iPhone 7. But Apple has not confirmed whether they are serious about including this technology into any of their future iPhone models.
The Apple Pencil is revolutionizing the pen stroke for professional artists. https://t.co/UnXMZjsnrH pic.twitter.com/n6wN5mJVYu
— ForbesLife (@ForbesLife) February 7, 2016
Analysts are guessing that the price for an iPad Air 3 would be around $499, £399, or AU$699 for a 16GB unit; $599, £479, or AU$829 for a 64GB unit; and $699, £559, or AU$959 for a 128GB unit, that is, if Apple is going to follow the current Air 2 pricing system.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]