Back in January the DigiTimes reported the next-generation 9.7-inch iPad would ship with 4K resolution, and today unnamed sources told 9to5Mac that the rumored 9.7-inch iPad Pro would be capabable of recording 4K video. The Apple blog also noted that the new iPad Pro would include a rear-facing 12MP iSight camera. This would be an improvement over the 8MP iSight camera found on the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro model and iPad Air 2.
It has all been but officially confirmed that Apple plans to release a new 9.7-inch iPad to replace the iPad Air 2, but what's not certain is the name of the rumored device or release date. It was previsouly reported that Apple would announce a new 4-inch iPhone and iPad model on March 15th, but John Paczkowski of Buzzfeed now claims the event has been pushed back to March 21st.
The next-generation 9.7-inch iPad will not be called the iPad Air 3, according to 9to5Mac. Recent rumors have already suggested that the latest 9.7-inch iPad model will borrow several features introduced on the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but according to unnamed sources, it will also utilize the Pro name, thus putting an end to the iPad Air lineup.
9to5Mac reports that the next-generation iPad will be introduced into the iPad Pro lineup at an Apple keynote to be held on March 15th. The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro will then go on sale on Friday, March 18th.
Apple's next generation 9.7-inch tablet will be available in Rose Gold when it is released next month, according to 9to5Mac. The Apple blog reports that there are already "Rose Gold variations of the upcoming iPad Air 3 floating around Apple’s campus." Apple is also allegedly considering bringing the Rose Gold color to the next-generation 12-inch MacBook and the iPad mini.
Up until recently it wasn't even clear if Apple would refresh its 9.7-inch iPad lineup, but numerous leaks, analysts predictions and a recent report by 9to5Mac all seem to indicate that the iPhone-maker will announce an iPad Air 3 in March. According to Mark Gurman, Apple is set to announce two new devices plus new Apple Watch bands during a keynote tentatively scheduled for March 15.
A leaked image of a case posted to Macotakara shows that the rumored iPad Air 3 will resemble its larger counterpart the iPad Pro. The image of the case seems to reveal a port for a Smart Connector and four speaker cutouts. The Smart Connector was introduced with the iPad Pro so it could easily connect and share data with Apple's Smart Keyboard. The iPad Pro was also Apple's first tablet to feature four speakers for improved audio.
iPad Air 3 rumors are being leaked almost daily now that we're getting closer to the alleged March release date of Apple's next-generation tablet. On Thursday, the DigiTimes reported that production of the 9-inch tablet will begin in the second quarter of 2016. The Taiwanese trade publication also noted that the iPad Air 3 will feature a new 4K resolution display, giving it four times more pixels than its predecessor.
An unconfirmed sketch of the rumored iPad Air 3 was posted by the French blog NowhereElse.fr on Monday. The leaked image reveals that the next-generation tablet may include four speakers, instead of two, like the iPad Pro. NowhereElse could not however confirm with 100% certainty that the design drawing is legit, but it is easy to believe that Apple would incorporate the same speaker design as the iPad Pro after all the positive reviews the 12-inch tablet has received for its audio. NowhereElse also noted the addition of LED flash on the new iPad.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new report (via 9to5Mac) today claiming that Apple will refresh its iPad Air lineup in the 1st half of 2016. Kuo also noted that Apple's new 9-inch iPad will not include 3D Touch due to "production issues."
Recent rumors have suggested that Apple also plans to launch a 4-inch iPhone 6c and second-generation Apple Watch next year.