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DigiTimes Says iPad Air 3 Will Have 4K Display and Up to 4GB RAM

ipadair2Taiwanese touch panel makers General Interface Solution and TPK will share production of a third-generation "4K" iPad Air set to debut in March, according to sources out of the China supply chain (via DigiTimes).

The same sources claim that in addition to a 4K resolution touch panel, Apple's new 9.7-inch tablet will feature up to 4GB RAM and improved battery life, and is scheduled to enter mass production in the second quarter of 2016.

The report goes on to state that both display makers expect a slight on-year increase in demand for touch panel products from Apple in the first half of 2016 due to orders of products equipped with 3D Touch. This comes despite previous rumors suggesting the iPad Air 3 will not adopt the pressure-sensitive display technology due to the production difficulties involved with scaling it up for a larger display.

Taiwan-based website DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, but its sources within the upstream supply chain have proven reliable in the past. However, the term "4K" may simply refer to the new iPad Air adopting features included in the iPad Pro, which inherited the oxide thin film transistor from the 5K Retina iMac, along with a UV-based photo alignment technique that ensures uniform color and brightness in the display. It also included a variable refresh rate that preserves battery life by cutting the refresh rate in half whenever there's static content on the screen.

Based on details from leaked design drawings, the next-generation iPad Air may be set to adopt the iPad Pro's four-speaker design and gain an LED flash next to the rear-facing camera. Other updates that would make sense include a faster A9 or A9X processor, Smart Connector, and improved cameras.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often accurately predicts Apple's plans, the iPad Air 3 will launch in the first half of 2016. Apple is rumored to be planning a media event for March of 2016, which is said to be the event where the iPad Air 3 will launch alongside a new 4-inch iPhone and Apple Watch updates.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Buyer's Guide: 11" iPad Pro (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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47 months ago
So the Air is going to get 4K support before the Pro? And the iPad is going to have top of the line display before iPhone? Call me very skeptical.
Rating: 40 Votes
47 months ago
"feature up to 4GB RAM" ?

so it could have 1GB. Or 2GB. Or 0.32GB.

The only actual logic in that comment is that it won't contain more than 4GB. Which I think we could all confidently predict! ;-)
Rating: 20 Votes
47 months ago
"Please let there be 16GB model....Please let there be a 16GB model."

- Says no one
Rating: 19 Votes
47 months ago
If it supports the Apple Pencil I will definitely be buying this.
Rating: 15 Votes
47 months ago
There's no point in a 4K display. You can't see the pixels now either, so why waste both processor horsepower and more importantly battery life for a minimal display improvement?
Rating: 9 Votes
47 months ago
Why would the Air have a higher resolution screen than the Pro? Also isnt 4K a 16:9 resolution? How would that play out on the iPad?
Rating: 7 Votes
47 months ago
4K display? Better than the iPad pro? There is no way they'll release something better than the Pro at a lower price.
I think it will have 2GB of RAM and the new A9X at a lower clock, so slightly slower than the pro maybe with the pencil support
Rating: 7 Votes
47 months ago
A 4k screen would screw up apps. Hardly anyone updates ipad apps as it is. Apple would've gone that direction with the ipad pro if they had any intention.
Rating: 7 Votes
47 months ago
At this pace we are going to have more ram than storage in the future (16 Gb, I'm looking at you!)
Rating: 5 Votes
47 months ago

If true, I hope they settle on the common 4096x2160 resolution across all the iPad models. They finally gave the iPhone a 1920x1080 screen with the Plus models, so there's hope going forward that they'll use more standard sizes.

An iPad Air 3 with 4K resolution would clock in at a nice 477ppi.

They've already settled on a 2732x2048 resolution for the iPad Pro. The Apple development tools and app store are set up to use this, and some apps are already optimized for this resolution. Given Apple's past history of reusing the same pixel resolutions in differently sized devices when possible (original iPad mini = original iPad resolution; retina iPad mini = retina iPad resolution), I think the most likely thing is that they will use this same resolution in the iPad 3, which results in 352 PPI. This will also encourage many more developers to optimize for this resolution which will improve the app experience for iPad Pro.
Rating: 5 Votes

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