It’s been more than a year since we got a new iPad Air model, with the M1 revision of Apple’s premium-but-not-Pro tablet option landing in March 2022. The long wait may soon be over though — Apple is said to be planning not one, but two new iPad Air models.
That’s according to a report from 9to5Mac, whose sources suggest a larger model could join the 10.9-inch build Apple already makes. In fact, there’d be four new models, if you’re counting the Wi-Fi and Cellular+Wi-Fi designations as separate.
The iPad Air 6 (if you want to call it that, being the sixth-generation of the iPad variant) could introduce “a more expensive model with better specs” according to the report.
While 9to5Mac concedes Apple’s plans could change, we can’t help but feel that’d be a wise move. Apple’s iPad line-up, consisting of an entry-level iPad, the iPad Mini 6, an iPad Air 5th generation and two different-sized iPad Pro models is already fractured enough. Issues like variations in keyboard cases, Pencil compatibility and more make it already easy for consumers to feel choice paralysis for Apple’s tablet range, and this move wouldn’t help that.
What is a worthy question to ask though is whether or not the proposed new iPad Air will land this side of 2024 or not — if it slips back to a launch window early next year, you’d imagine buyers might wonder if the M3 chipsets will be waiting just over the horizon. If Apple can get an iPad Air out before the end of the year, it might represent one last hurrah for the M2 silicon. The report puts a release window of “between now and WWDC 2024 in June”, so it’s anyone’s guess…
iPad Mini and a new keyboard too
In addition to the new iPad Air models, the same source states that the long-awaited iPad Mini 7 is still on its way, set to launch ‘soon’ too. It’s by far the iPad most in need of an update at this point, having not been refreshed since September 2021 and packing an underclocked A15 Bionic chip.
Finally, a previous rumor of a revised Magic Keyboard for iPad is further strengthened, with the source pointing to a new ‘R219’ codename keyboard case. It’s said to have an aluminum shell, a larger trackpad and built in sensors including an accelerometer, with the expectation being it’ll be sold as an accompaniment to iPad Pro.
Apple traditionally hosts a Fall event where new entries in the iPad and desktop Mac ranges are revealed, but iPad and Mac product launches seem to have fallen out of step with their traditional windows. Fingers crossed we’ll still see some new gear before the end of the year.