Apple Allegedly Working on Two New iPad Air Models
Apple is working on two new versions of the iPad Air 6, according to a report from 9to5Mac. The site claims that Apple has four separate models in the works (two each in cellular and Wi-Fi), though it is not clear what the differentiating factor would be if there are indeed two separate iPad Air models coming.
Apple makes two versions of the iPad Pro because it comes in two sizes, and 9to5Mac speculates that Apple could release a larger version of the iPad Air to go along with the current 10.9-inch version, or debut "a more expensive model with better specs."
Given that the iPad lineup already features two sizes of the iPad Pro, a low-cost iPad, and the iPad mini, a larger or higher-end iPad Air may not make a lot of sense. 9to5Mac warns that Apple's plans could change and that a second iPad Air model might not appear.
Prior rumors have suggested that Apple is working on a seventh-generation iPad mini and an 11th-generation low-cost iPad, with neither tablet expected to feature major changes. 9to5Mac says that its sources believe the iPad mini 7 is coming "soon," but the report also says that all of the new iPads are on track to be announced "between now and WWDC 2024 in June," which is a wide window.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in September that Apple is not likely to introduce new iPads in 2023, and that iPad mini and iPad Air models will instead come in 2024. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman also said in September that Apple is working on a new iPad Air and that it could be "coming soonish," so it continues to be unclear if we'll see an iPad of some kind before the end of the year.
Apple has not refreshed the iPad Air since March of 2022, so it has been over a year since the last update. The current model includes the M1 chip, and Apple could wait for the debut of the M3 chip for an update, so iPad Air launch timing could be tied to M3 launch timing.
As for the iPad mini, it has not been refreshed since September 2021, though it is not a tablet that Apple updates regularly.