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Apple's 2024 iPad Air lineup: What to expect

By Julie Clover

Apple hasn't made any updates to the iPad lineup in 2023, and it's been even longer since it updated the iPad Air. The last time Apple introduced the new ‌iPad Air‌ in March 2022, so we're two years old and it's time for an update. Luckily, there are rumors that we'll be getting new iPads in March, and there will be some exciting changes coming to the Air lineup.


In this guide, we have collected all the rumors about the new ‌iPad Air‌ models at the moment.

Size and design

Apple plans to release another 10.9-inch ‌iPad Air‌ it's similar in design to the current version, but for the first time we're expecting two ‌iPad Air‌ models, not just one. As with the iPad Pro line, Apple will release the ‌iPad Air‌ in two sizes.

The standard 10.9-inch model will be a smaller size, and as for the larger size, Apple is working on a 12.9-inch version. The larger ‌iPad Air‌ with a diagonal of 12.9 inches; will be the same size as the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

There are no rumors of design changes, so we can expect both models to have the same edge-to-edge display with thin bezels and an aluminum body with flat, rounded edges that wrap around the screen. ‌iPad Air‌ has always been a little thicker than the ‌iPad Pro‌ with thicker bezels, and this will continue.

Rumor has it that the upcoming ‌iPad Pro‌ The models, which will also be updated in March, will have thinner bezels due to the transition to OLED display technology. New ‌iPad Pro‌ with large screen equipped with OLED; will be more than 1 mm thinner, and the 11-inch model will be almost 1 mm thinner.

Changes to the ‌iPad Pro‌ The thickness should be quite noticeable and the design will differentiate the ‌iPad Pro‌ from ‌iPad Air‌, although Apple will have two iPads of approximately the same size.

We've also seen leaked renders of the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Air‌, which suggest the new models may feature an updated rear camera with a pill-shaped bump, similar to the design we expect from the iPhone 16's camera.

According to rumors, we will not see changes in the design. , but Apple will likely introduce new color options. ‌iPad Air‌ is now available in a variety of pastel colors, and Apple may introduce a number of new shades.

M3 chip

Since the release of the M1 chip, Apple has been using M-series chips in the ‌iPad Air‌ and ‌iPad Pro‌ models. This time we expect Apple to introduce the ‌iPad Air‌ either M2 chip or M3 chip.

‌M2‌ The chip is the previous generation M series chip that first appeared in 2022 and is almost two years old. The argument for ‌M2‌ is that it will give Apple an opportunity to further differentiate the ‌iPad Air‌ from ‌iPad Pro‌, plus it will reduce costs. 3nm M3 chips are more expensive to produce than ‌M2‌.

If Apple chooses ‌M2‌, it will result in improved speed and power efficiency, but it will be a much smaller bump than the M3 chip. It's not entirely clear what chip Apple will use.

The M3 chip came out last year and is the first chip built using the next-generation 3nm architecture. It features an 8-core processor and 10-core GPU, and supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading for better-looking games.

Apple M3 Macs can play console-level games like like Death. Stranding and Resident Evil, so we can expect the same technology for the ‌iPad Air‌ if it turns out to be with an M3 chip.

M3 offers 2.5 times faster GPU speed than ‌M1‌ in ‌iPad Air‌ with half power. In terms of processor, the M3 is 30 percent faster than the ‌M1‌ core performance and up to 50 percent faster than ‌M1‌ efficiency cores.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Since the current ‌iPad Air‌ It's two years old now and lacks some of the general technology improvements Apple has brought to other devices.

Apple is updating its products with Bluetooth 5.3, so we can expect it to come to the ‌iPad Air&zwnj ;. Bluetooth 5.3 provides more reliable connections to Bluetooth accessories, as well as better power efficiency for longer battery life.

Wi-Fi 6E is also expected, which will allow the ‌iPad Air‌ models connect to faster 6 GHz Wi-Fi networks.

iPad Air and iPad Pro

Display technology will be one of the main differentiating factors between the ‌iPad Air‌ and ‌iPad Pro‌. Although ‌iPad Pro‌ models will have an OLED display, ‌iPad Air‌ models will continue to use more affordable LCD display technology.

Apple is not using Face ID on the ‌iPad Air‌ instead, the current model has a Touch ID power button, which Apple could retain to keep the premium version of ‌Face ID‌ a feature exclusive to the ‌iPad Pro‌.

We don't expect any major differences in performance as both models are rumored to use the M3 chip, but the ‌iPad Pro‌ may have more memory for OLED display. Rear camera technology will also be a differentiator as the ‌iPad Pro‌ has a dual camera with wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle lenses, and the ‌iPad Air‌ has only a wide-angle camera with a single lens.

Prices

The current 11-inch ‌iPad Air‌ It starts at $599, and the new model will likely have the same starting price.

As for the 12.9-inch version, it would be wiser to price it $200 higher than with the 11-inch version. model, so its price can start at $799. Before the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ was updated with a mini LED, the price difference between the two sizes was $200.

Apple's goal with the ‌iPad Air‌ is to offer customers more options at a wider price range. Approximately the price of an 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ instead, buyers will be able to opt for the larger 12.9-inch ‌iPad Air‌.

Release Date

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has repeatedly stated that the new ‌ iPad‌ the models will arrive in March/April, and the latest news suggests that they will release towards the end of March.

Apple sometimes holds a spring event around March, so we may hear news about a possible event. in the next week or two.

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