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iPad Air 3 Cases to Fit Four Speakers, Rear Flash, and Smart Connector Appear

Last week, a design drawing surfaced claiming to show an iPad Air 3 with a few differences compared to the current iPad Air 2, most notably a stereo four-speaker design similar to the iPad Pro and an apparent LED flash located below the rear camera.

The design drawing likely came from a third-party manufacturer, and these companies apparently now feel comfortable enough to begin producing cases based on the design, as seen through Chinese site Alibaba's 1688.com business portal (via Nowhereelse.fr).

ipad_air_3_case_1
The new low-cost cases currently selling at around $3–4 each in quantities of 500 or more and even cheaper for greater quantities match the earlier design drawing, including two slots on each of the top and bottom edges to accommodate the device's speakers, and a teardrop cutout on the rear to fit the camera with an LED flash below.

At least one of the cases appears to have a cutout along the left side that matches the shape and location of the Smart Connector used to dock and power accessories such as keyboards on the iPad Pro. A Smart Connector was not observed in the design drawing from last week and does not appear to be included on the other case being offered for sale.

ipad_air_3_case_2
Other features appear identical to the iPad Air 2, including a decently large cutout high on the right edge of the device for the volume buttons, and small holes on the right edge and next to the rear camera for microphones. Additional cutouts for the headphone jack and power button on top and the Lightning port on the bottom are also present.

Apple opted not to update the iPad Air lineup last September when it debuted the iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro, and a new iPad Air 3 has been rumored for release during the first half of this year, most likely at a March media event.

Related Roundup: iPad Air 2
Tag: case leak
Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Buy Now)


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

16 weeks ago
So it's basically a small iPad Pro. I wonder if it'll support the Pencil. That'll be one way to make me regret my Pro purchase.
Rating: 18 Votes
16 weeks ago

I doubt they will. The iOS product line (excluding iPods) only just got to 2GB across all devices less than 6 months ago, and given that the vast majority of iOS devices currently being supported still have 1GB, why on Earth would Apple jump to 4GB so soon on anything but the iPad Pro? I don't even see a point to 4GB of RAM on iOS. Sure, some people were starting to feel restricted by 1GB, but are people really feeling that 2GB isn't enough already? What on iOS uses that much RAM unless you feel the need to have 100 browser tabs open? Even desktop OSs can run smoothly on 4GB or less. It's overkill for iOS which still only has the most basic multitasking functionality.

That attitude would have kept us on 512 MB RAM forever.
Rating: 17 Votes
16 weeks ago

Ok, I'm assuming "English 2nd language", but still...
Better run that post by a buddy - it makes negative sense.
It's kinda just stringing together words with no point whatsoever.


Your comprehension skills must be lacking, because the post you quoted made far more than "negative" sense.
Rating: 13 Votes
16 weeks ago

For people who appreciate good sound quantity output this iPad may be really interesting.


There, fixed it for you. :D
Rating: 11 Votes
16 weeks ago
I just care for RAM really. As long as there's more than 2GB it's a winner for me. There's never too many RAM.

RAM will determine how multitasking will behave
Rating: 9 Votes
16 weeks ago
If it has 4 speakers, 4GB of RAM and A9X, I'm sold :)
Rating: 9 Votes
16 weeks ago
For people who appreciate good sound quality output this iPad may be really interesting.
Rating: 8 Votes
16 weeks ago

I wonder will Apple upgrade the RAM on the iPad Air 3 to 4 GB. If they do, I'm retiring my iPad Air and replacing it with this. :)


I doubt they will. The iOS product line (excluding iPods) only just got to 2GB across all devices less than 6 months ago, and given that the vast majority of iOS devices currently being supported still have 1GB, why on Earth would Apple jump to 4GB so soon on anything but the iPad Pro? I don't even see a point to 4GB of RAM on iOS. Sure, some people were starting to feel restricted by 1GB, but are people really feeling that 2GB isn't enough already? What on iOS uses that much RAM unless you feel the need to have 100 browser tabs open? Even desktop OSs can run smoothly on 4GB or less. It's overkill for iOS which still only has the most basic multitasking functionality.
Rating: 7 Votes
16 weeks ago
I wonder will Apple upgrade the RAM on the iPad Air 3 to 4 GB. If they do, I'm retiring my iPad Air and replacing it with this. :)
Rating: 7 Votes
16 weeks ago

For people who appreciate good sound quality output this iPad may be really interesting.


Are you being tongue in cheek or for real?
Rating: 6 Votes

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