Apple held its annual conference in September, where the company’s latest and greatest products were to be revealed. We saw the world’s largest iOS tablet, the iPad Pro, which hit shelves last week, and the 4th edition of the brand’s laudable iPad Mini. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s were also unveiled in September. But not a word was said about the launch of an iPad Air 3.
Specs for the impending device have supposedly been leaked, inciting a strain of rumors from various tech-geared media sources. But the fact that Apple refuses to speak a single word about the highly anticipated iPad Air 3 is a pretty clear statement that you won’t be finding one under your Christmas tree this year.
The next-gen iPad Air is expected to be slimmer and lighter than ever, while heavily focused on delivering lightning fast, crystal clear media and entertainment. Rumors have been circulating for months as to the tablet’s impending features, and the latest word from IT Pro says the already impressive resolution will get a boost to “2334 x 3112 pixels at around 401ppi”.
Several sources have reported that the iPad Air 3 will maintain it’s 9.7” screen size, but will see a diminished battery size; something more in line with the latest iPhones. Talk of a 3D display with 2k resolution and Apple’s most powerful chip, the A9X (as seen in the iPad Pro), and even an ultra-sharp 13 megapixel camera could be on the menu as well.
But all the rumors and speculations in the world mean nothing until Apple confirms them, and for now, they have refused to even comment on iPad Air 3, its specs, its release date, or even whether the damn thing exists!
What we do know is that the tablet market is not a significant one at the moment. According to a research survey published by Gartner earlier this month, the vast majority of people who already own a tablet have no desire to upgrade. Only 17% of respondents said they expect to buy a new tablet in the next 12 months.
Gartner’s principal research analyst, Meike Escherich, explained that, “Tablet innovation is driven by applications rather than by the hardware. However, most applications work pretty well with first- and second-generation tablet hardware, and because the operating system (OS) can be upgraded for free, the user is not compelled to change the device,” he said.
In essence, consumers are sticking with the old cliché, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’. Or rather, ‘if it still works, don’t pay hundreds of dollars to replace it’.
That doesn’t leave a whole lot of wiggle room for manufacturers to market multiple devices, and Apple has already invested in its iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4 this Fall. Realistically, throwing an iPad Air 3 into the mix could hurt Apple’s sales much more than helping them.
As for when the iPad Air 3 could finally be released, “sometime in 2016” is the safest bet, but not what expectant fans of the super-slim technology want to hear.
Many have assumed that it won’t finally be unveiled until September 2016, merely because Apple has a history of pushing its new technology in the Fall, just in time for Christmas. However, there’s talk around the water cooler that Spring 2016—likely March—is the more likely target, dropping the iPad Air 3 into the market at the same time the iPad Pro receives its first price drop.