We explore all of the latest rumours about the iPad Air 3, which was supposed to arrive alongside a new iPhone SE on 21 March at Apple’s special event. We round up the iPad Air 3 UK release date, price and specification rumours.
The iPad Air 2, which came out in October 2014, is thinner, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor, with new features including the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. But Apple won’t stop there. We’ve gathered all of the iPad Air 3 release date, price and features rumours in one place so you’ll know when the iPad Air 3 is coming out and what it’s going to be like. You might also like iPhone 7 rumours.
iPad Air 3 UK release date rumours: When is the next iPad coming out?
Although it was widely thought that the iPad Air 3 would be launched at Apple’s March special even, what actually happened is the introduction of a new iPad Pro in the same 9.7in size as the iPad Air range. There was no Apple Watch 2 or sign of new MacBooks much to the disappointment of fans, particularly the latter.
A look back over Apple’s iPad release history would suggest that the next iPad should have arrived in October 2015, yet it did not. Instead, the iPad mini 4, the device with which it would usually share its launch event, was unveiled alongside the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPad Pro in September 2015. There was no October event.
The iPad Air 2 was unveiled on 16 October, and was released later the same month, while the first iPad Air was announced on 22 October 2013 before a November release.
Following the March event, the big question is now ‘has Apple has killed off the iPad Air range?’ and the new iPad Pro is effectively the iPad Air 3. That’s a difficult question to answer but Apple hasn’t said anything along those lines.
Our feeling is that the iPad Air 3 could still be on the way later this year, probably to merely refresh the regular iPad model. This will provide customers with a cheaper option to the new iPad Pro and those using the iPad Air 2 or older model something to upgrade to.
The tablet market has slowed somewhat over the past couple of years so we’re not overly surprised to see Apple waiting longer before bringing a new iPad out. It’s likely, going on past events, that it will take place in October with an iPad Air 3 release date in November.
You might also like: What to expect from Apple in 2015.
New iPad Pro: podcast discussion
iPad Air 3 UK price rumours: How much will the next iPad cost?
Going on the basis that Apple will launch the iPad Air 3 later this year, we fully expect it to cost £399 for the WiFi-only 16GB model – Apple’s standard price for the full-size iPad.
As mentioned already, this would give new or upgrading customers the familiar £399 option without having to spend £499 or having to opt for the smaller iPad mini 4.
See also: iPad Air 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison.
iPad Air 3 rumours: Design
We didn’t expect Apple to change the design of the iPad when it launched the iPad Air 2, but the company surprised us by making the already thin and light device even slimmer. It’s 6.1mm thick compared with the 7.5mm of the original iPad Air.
We think 6.1mm is thin enough, but don’t be surprised to see Apple shave even more off of the iPad Air’s profile with the next model. Apple is rumoured to be building it from even stronger aluminium than before, so it’s certainly plausible.
We expect the same Gold, Silver and Space Grey colour options, with the likely addition of a Rose Gold model.
iPad Air 3 rumours: Hardware specs
The previously leaked information about the iPad Air 3 all turned out to be the new iPad Pro – the Apple Pencil support, A9X chip, four-speaker audio system and more. That means it’s back to square one when it comes to the possible iPad Air 3 specs.
What we can say for almost certain is that it will follow the Apple formula of a 9.7in screen with a 2048×1536 resolution, meaning a 264ppi pixel density. The question is whether Apple will use the same True Tone screen found on the new iPad Pro and we think not otherwise it’s one less reason to pay more for the Pro model.
Improvements are more likely to come on the inside with upgrades such as a new processor – presumably the A10 which could well power the iPhone 7.
Other improvements could include better cameras but Apple will tread a fine line between differentiating between the iPad Air 3 and iPad Pro 9.7in while making the new tablet a worthwhile upgrade from the iPad Air 2.
What Apple might do is release another iPad Pro alongside the iPad Air 3 with new specs, such as the A10 or A10X so the Air 3 can be upgraded to the specs of the recently announced iPad Pro 9.7in.
It’s all very much up in the air so we’ll continue to watch out for rumours and leaked details over the coming weeks and months. We’ll update this article with anything we find.