Faster, slimmer, brighter, mightier...The internet abounds with rumors of what the new iPad Air 3 will bring to the tablet market. But the biggest question many want answered is will it be released at all and if so, when?
The big day
In previous years Apple has followed a predictable trend in the release of its new products. Autumn 2013 saw the release of the iPad Air and October the following year saw its upgrade, the Air 2, so it was with anticipation that the autumn of 2015 rolled around with fans champing at the bit for the rollout of the Air 3. Well there was an iPad released but it wasn't of the Air variety. Instead Apple unveiled the new iPad Pro, a mighty new addition to the tablet field with a host of new features and upgrades.
Hmm, pondered the pundits; could this mean Apple would span its iPad releases over two years with Pros one year and Airs the next? If so, that means October 2016 might see the Air rolled out. But so far Apple says...umm nothing.
WWDC June 2016?
There was also speculation the annual developer's software conference might be the release date, with Apple tying in the launch of the Air 3 with the upgrade to IOS9 software at the WWDC. That was in mid June, and nope, nada, zip.
Then some online retailers began to drop the prices of the Air 2. Did they know something the market didn't? Or was it more likely the release of the Pro series and the age of the Air 2 were contributing to the drop? Experts like macworld.co.uk also noted these were non-Apple retailers marking down the price. Apple doesn't drop its prices on older models, it just stops production and lets the market dry up before releasing the latest model.
One of the most contentious rumors doing the rounds is that Apple has no Air 3 ace up its sleeve at all, and the whiz-bang iPad Pro in 9.7 and 12.9 inch sizes IS the new iPad, period.
It remains to be seen, but with a bevy of concept videos doing the rounds and experts from all over the world weighing into the debate, if there is an Air 3, here's what it may bring to the table.
When will the iPad Air 2 be released?
Whether you're awaiting the iPad Air 3, embracing the Pro or utilizing the good old Air 2, tablet stands are available to assist in ensuring your iPad meets your professional needs.
The possible iPad Air 3
Keyboard Connection - The 9.7 inch and 12.9 inch iPad Pros boast a new Smart Connector that allows for easy connection of a Smart Keyboard. It seems a logical upgrade that iPad Air 3 would boast the same. If included, it would allow the keyboard to draw on the iPad's battery rather than its own.
Flash - Apple is backing the popularity of the iPad as a camera and has introduced a flash for its rear facing camera on the iPad Pro 9.7 inch. Rumor is the new Air would too. Also included would be the Retina Flash feature on the front facing camera.
Pencil - The Apple Pencil is considered one of the best styluses on the market and the success of the Apple Pencil introduction to the iPad Pro 12.9 inch leads many to believe the new Air could also support this popular feature.
Bigger battery - The iPad Pro has come out ahead of the game offering a larger battery with longer life, and it's hoped the Air would do the same.
Processor speed - New IOS9 software allows for the multitasking many have been crying out for in iPads, but this requires some super processing speed. Each previous installment of the Air has offered greater speed, and the Air 3 processor is expected to be the A9 version or A9X processor chip.
Screen resolution - There's been much discussion over whether the screen resolution of the iPad Air will be improved in newer models, with Apple indicating the current density of pixels per inch is more than adequate for a tablet held at the distance generally required of an iPad. The new iPad Pro has upped the pixel density but many believe it’s unlikely the Air 3 would want to show up its more expensive predecessor.
Even slimmer - When it came to the thin design of the iPad Air 2, Apple blew the market away and it's unlikely this already slim little number will lose any more girth. Experts reflect if it did, customers might be concerned about the durability, and really how thin is thin enough?
Anti-reflective coating - Apple's put it out there, so it might be likely the new iPad Air 3 will boast anti-reflective screen coatings.
iPad Air 3 or iPad Pro 9.7" 2??
Case - The big tip for the Air 3 is a new 7000 series aluminum case, like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Although this wasn't featured on the top of the range Pros, it might just make an appearance in the Air 3.
Colors - We're not likely to see the bold and bright colors associated with the iPhone 5c, instead the color range will likely be similar to the 9.7inch Pro including Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold.