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iPad Air 5 might launch alongside the iPhone SE 3 this spring

Published Jan 17th, 2022 6:17PM EST
iPad Air
Image: Apple Inc.

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Reports say Apple will introduce new products soon at a virtual event in March or April. The iPhone SE 3 is rumored to be the star of the show. That’s because Apple doesn’t update the iPhone SE series every year, and a refresh is due. But a report claims Apple might refresh the iPad Air this spring as well. The new report says the iPad Air 5’s release date might be close, detailing the purported specs upgrades for the device as well.

The current Air generation

Apple last updated the iPad Air in 2020, the first year of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis disrupted everything, forcing companies to stop the production of goods and delay their latest products. Apple was one of those companies. The iPad Air 4 ended up being one of the devices Apple unveiled during a mid-September 2020 event that lacked an iPhone announcement.

Before we look at the iPad Air 5 release date rumor, we should note that the iPad Air 4 is still a formidable device.

The iPad Air 4 was a massive upgrade. It was the first device that Apple confirmed would run on the A14 Bionic chip, the processor that would also power the iPhone 12 series.

The mid-range tablet brought other notable improvements. The tablet got an all-screen design, featuring a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display and iPad Pro-like bezels. The home button moved to the side of the device. The tablet also got a USB-C port instead of the Lightning connector, just like the iPad Pro. Finally, Apple launched the iPad Air 4 in several new colors.

Many of these upgrades trickled to the iPad mini 6 that Apple unveiled a year later.

iPad Air
Main iPad Air 4th-generation specs and features. Image source: Apple Inc.

iPad Air 5 release date

This brings us to the new iPad Air 5 rumor that claims a release date is close. Japanese blog Macotakara learned from “reliable sources” in China that the iPad Air 5 might launch alongside the iPhone SE 3 in spring 2022.

The report doesn’t offer a firm release date for the iPad Air 5. But if the information is accurate, we would expect Apple to unveil new hardware either in March or April.

The blog does mention several of the hardware upgrades coming to the new iPad Air series. According to the source, the iPad Air 5 will retain the design of its predecessor. But the specs will be similar to the iPad mini 6. That means the iPad Air’s processor will be bumped up to A15 Bionic.

Other specs might include 5G support, 12-megapixel ultra-wide front camera, and a quad-LED TrueTone flash. The tablet will feature a single-lens camera on the back, like the current model.

That ultra-wide selfie cam upgrade means the iPad Air will get Center Stage support for FaceTime. That’s a video chat feature that lets the tablet’s camera follow the subject around as they move. Apple introduced Center Stage with the 2021 iPad Pro series and expanded it to the iPad mini 6.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.