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Anonymous sources say there are multiple iPads on the way, although little is known beyond what has already been rumored, other than a new mention of four models iPad Air.
It looks like 2023 will be the first year that the iPad won't be updated. The tablet line hit a balance between edge-to-edge design and USB-C in the fall of 2022, but nothing has been released since then.
According to a source at 9to5Mac, there is still a possibility of an iPad launch in the coming months. The source confirms several rumors, such as updated specifications for the iPad mini 7 and 10.9-inch iPad, which will appear in late 2023 or early 2024.
However, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that we should not expect new iPads to appear in 2023. While he's not 100% accurate, his view of the supply chain gives a reliable idea of release windows, and he hasn't changed his stance on it yet.
The source also confirmed rumors about an updated Magic Keyboard made of aluminum.
Four iPad Airs
The key part of this iPad rumor report is the section on the iPad Air. An anonymous source says Apple is working on two different iPad Air models, two each with Wi-Fi and cellular support.
The standard iPad Air 6 is what we expect — identical design with a chip protrusion. This model is codenamed J507 and J508 for Wi-Fi and Cellular versions.
Two more models are currently being developed, codenamed J537 and J538. Nothing is known about these models, and the source does not seem to provide any details. Thursday's report suggests they are based on the iPad Air.
The report suggests that the two iPad Air series could denote a large and a small model, similar to how the iPad Pro works today. They also suggest that the additional model will never see the light of day and is only in testing.
Deciphering the supposed clues about the iPad Air
We already talked about Apple and its pricing structure.
In short, a company typically offers a series of products with overlapping features in similar price ranges. This gives customers more choice and tends to push customers up the next rung on the price ladder if there is a feature they're after.
The iPad line already has a strong price ladder, but there is a noticeable gap. The 10.9-inch iPad, 11-inch iPad Air and 11-inch iPad Pro range from $449 to $799, but there's only one option for the 12.9-inch iPad, starting at $1,099.
Some rumors suggest the iPad Pro M3 could offer a new, larger display size from 13 to 14 inches. inches, leaving behind a size of 12.9 inches. However, this may not be the end of the 12.9-inch size class if rumors of two iPad Air models in development are true.
ProMotion and Thunderbolt may not be necessary for all users, such as artists who need a larger drawing tablet. This is why a larger iPad Air model is entirely viable, but it's not necessarily guaranteed.
There are reasons to be skeptical of this rumor, given the overlap between the iPad models being postulated in a lineup that's already crowded in price and size. We have no way of confirming the origin of the rumors, and the source may be the same source that shared a very inaccurate release schedule for the M3 MacBook Air, which was said to be arriving six months ago in April 2023 — so take all of this with a grain of salt.