The iPad Air 2 came out in October 2014. It’s thinner, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor, with new features including the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. But Apple won’t stop there: it’s highly likely to be working on the iPad Air 3 (or iPad 7 as some are calling it), so we’ve gathered all of the iPad Air 3 release date, price and features rumours in one place so you’ll know when the iPad Air 3 is coming out and what it’s going to be like.
Update 7 September: The latest rumour is that Apple will not be holding a special iPad event in October. In which case, if we are to see a new iPad Air 3 this year, it could be announced at this Wednesday’s iPhone launch event.
When is the next iPad coming out?
A look back over Apple’s iPad release history suggests that the next iPad will arrive in October 2015, at a special event that will likely also see the launch of the iPad mini 4, Apple’s next 7in tablet.
The iPad Air 2 was unveiled on 16 October, and was released later the same month, while the first iPad Air was announced on 22 October 2013 before a November release.
We expect lots more rumours about a possible iPad Air 3 release date to emerge as the year progresses and more evidence surfaces.
How much will the next iPad cost?
It’s likely that the iPad Air 3 will cost around the same as the iPad Air 2 does now. So that’s a starting price of around £399 for the WiFi-only 16GB model, ranging up to £659 for the WiFi + Cellular option with 128GB capacity.
The good news is that the iPad Air 2 will probably come down in price by around £80, and will still be a fantastic tablet.
We didn’t expect Apple to change the design of the iPad when it launched the iPad Air 2, but the company surprised us by making the already thin and light device even slimmer. It’s 6.1mm thick compared with the 7.5mm of the original iPad Air.
But 6.1mm is thin enough, we think, so we don’t expect Apple to take shave any more off of the iPad Air’s profile with the next model.
We also expect the same Gold, Silver and Slate Grey colour options (the Gold option was introduced to the iPad with the latest model).
It’s possible that other aspects of the iPad Air’s design could change, though, but we’ll have to wait for more evidence to mount to find out what those tweaks could be.
Hardware & specs
We’re expecting Apple to continue its tradition of launching a new, more powerful chip for each model of iPad, so a super-powerful A9X chip for the iPad Air 3 is likely. The iPad Air 2 is already capable of up to 12 times faster processing than the very first iPad, and 180 times faster graphics.
Here’s where we’re hoping for some big improvements in the iPad Air 3. The iPad Air’s Retina display has a 9.7in display with a resolution of 2048×1536, equating to 264ppi. That’s by no means a poor screen, but there’s better out there and we hope Apple can improve upon it with its next tablet.
There is talk, however, of an iPad Pro, which could cater to some of our wishes for the iPad’s screen. You can find out what the latest speculation is in our iPad Pro rumour round-up.
We’re not expecting much change when it comes to cameras with the iPad Air 3. Apple doesn’t focus too much on the camera in its tablets, but it did up the megapixel count in the iPad Air 2’s rear-facing camera from 5Mp to 8Mp with the latest model.
The company may make some tweaks to the camera to help it perform better in low light, perhaps, or to give it some additional modes like it did with the introduction of Panorama, Slo-Mo and Burst Mode.
We’ll update this article with more iPad Air 3 rumours as they arrive, so keep this page bookmarked and check back regularly for the latest speculation and evidence.