Apple’s New ‘iPad Air 5’ Is Coming | Release Date, Features, and Design
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Over the past couple of years, the release cycles for Apple’s iPad lineup have become somewhat staggered, with different models sometimes unexpectedly playing leapfrog over each other in terms of features and capabilities.
This was most apparent last fall, when Apple unveiled a new sixth-generation iPad mini that adopted the more modern design of the 2019 fourth-generation iPad Air, but also jumped out ahead by packing in Apple’s brand-new A15 Bionic chip — the same one found in its iPhone 13 models. It also added 5G cellular and Wi-Fi 6 support, which had previously been the exclusive domain of the iPad Pro.
Last fall’s announcement marked the first time that an iPad mini became the most powerful device in Apple’s non-pro iPad lineup.
Before this, the iPad mini was generally on par with its corresponding full-sized iPad. For the first four generations, that would have been the standard entry-level iPad model — the only other iPad that existed in those days — and then in 2019, the iPad mini became a companion to the third-generation iPad Air, as Apple created a new middle tier in the iPad family.
It’s fair to say that Apple isn’t going to let that be the case for very long, so we’re due for a new iPad Air model sometime this year. However, according to the latest info from supply chain sources, it could arrive sooner than we originally thought.
According to Japanese blog Mac Otakara, Apple has a fifth-generation iPad Air slated for this spring that will once again bring its iPad family back into its proper harmony.
From the report, the features of this new ‘iPad Air 5’ will basically mirror those of the current iPad mini, which means an A15 Bionic chip, 5G cellular, Wi-Fi 6, and improved cameras.
iPad Air 5 Features and Design
Since Apple’s goal here is clearly to bring the iPad Air in line with the iPad mini, we’re not expecting any significant design changes. By all accounts, the new iPad Air will look virtually identical to the 2019 fourth-generation model.
- That means a single-lens rear camera, a 10.9-inch display with slim bezels, and Touch ID on the side power button.
- Naturally, there will also be a USB-C port.
- It’s quite possible that Apple may decide to change up the colour options, however; the current iPad Air is available in Space Grey, Silver, Green, Rose Gold, and Sky Blue.
- The front camera is expected to mirror that of the sixth-generation iPad mini, with a 12-megapixel sensor and Ultra Wide lens, plus support for Apple’s Center Stage feature, which is obviously going to be a standard feature on all iPad models going forward.
Sources predict that the new iPad Air will be launched at a spring event that we’re expecting to also include the iPhone SE, iPad Pro, and new Macs.
As MacRumors notes, Mac Otakra accurately reported the USB-C port on the fourth-generation iPad Air, as well as the slightly increased thickness of the mini-LED iPad Pro. However, last year the site also incorrectly predicted that the iPad mini would remain the same, which we now know wasn’t the case.
Still, it’s a pretty safe bet that Apple has a new iPad Air in the works, so these latest predictions aren’t really too far out there. If anything, it’s only the timing that’s an open question. Supply chain sources usually don’t have the best read on when Apple is going to release things, and if Apple also has an update to its iPad Pro lineup in the works, it may not want to unveil an iPad Air at the same time.
It’s also likely that Apple doesn’t want to leave the iPad mini at the head of the pack for any longer than absolutely necessary, and it’s also worth keeping in mind that the once-groundbreaking iPad Air 4 is now the oldest iPad that Apple is still selling, so it’s not hard to imagine that a new model is coming in the next couple of months.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]