iPad Air 5 Rumored to Feature M1 Chip, 8GB RAM, and 128GB Base Storage
The fifth-generation iPad Air will feature a range of significantly upgraded internals, according to an unverified but increasingly plausible report coming out of Asia.
According to a post from the account "yeux1122" on the Korean blog Naver, the fifth-generation iPad Air will feature the M1 chip. As a result, the iPad Air is also destined to be paired with 8GB of memory, the post claims.
The new iPad Air is also rumored to start with 128GB of storage, up from the 64GB base storage currently available with the fourth-generation iPad Air. The fifth-generation iPad Air will purportedly start at $599, the same starting price as the current model, despite offering double the amount of base storage.
The account previously said that Apple was planning to launch a new iPad mini model with an 8.7-inch display and a chassis that has an increased width and reduced height compared to the fifth-generation iPad mini in the second half of 2021. While the display size claim was inaccurate, with the sixth-generation iPad mini actually featuring an 8.3-inch display, the chassis rumor and launch timeframe proved to be correct.
Previous rumors about the iPad Air have suggested that it will be very similar to the iPad mini, featuring the A15 Bionic chip and 5G connectivity. Adding the M1 to the iPad Air would make it very similar to the more expensive, top-of-the-line iPad Pro, and if Apple does opt to do so, ProMotion display technology (with mini-LED in the 12.9-inch model) and the LiDAR camera would become the main differences between the iPad Air and the iPad Pro lines.
The M1 chip features a 8-core CPU and a 7 to 8-core GPU, and comparatively, the A15 chip has a 6-core CPU and 5-core GPU, so the M1 does offer some performance improvements over the A-series chips.
Yesterday, 9to5Mac exclusively reported that the fifth-generation iPad Air will feature the M1 chip, but it is not clear if that is independently-sourced information or simply derived from this Naver blog post.
The new iPad Air is expected to be announced at Apple's "Peek Performance" event, which will start at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time today, so we don't have long before we learn exactly what chip Apple is adding to the iPad Air. We'll have coverage here at MacRumors.com and on our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.