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Larger iPad Air again rumored to be in the works, but do we need one?

Published Oct 19th, 2023 2:08PM EDT
iPad Air (2022) Camera
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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A new report corroborates a larger iPad Air is in the works. This time, DigiTimes (via MacRumors), in its “Before Going to Press” section, says Apple is developing a 12.9-inch iPad Air. Unlike the iPad Pro, this larger tablet wouldn’t feature a miniLED or OLED display but the same LCD technology available on the current Air lineup.

That said, this larger iPad Air wouldn’t feature ProMotion, an exclusive feature of the iPad Pro models. DigiTimes believes Apple is developing newer models with 10.9-inch and 12.9-inch panels.

Here’s what we know about the upcoming iPad Air

Early this month, 9to5Mac’s Filipe Espósito reported that Apple was working on not two but four different Air models. According to the journalist, besides the regular models identified as J507 and J508 (Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions), Apple is also working on larger versions codenamed J537 and J538. He reported:

(…) Apple has also been working on other iPads identified as J537 and J538 that are based on the iPad Air. For instance, the only iPad that currently has more than one version is the iPad Pro, as it comes in 11 and 12.9 inches, so there are two models for each version.

Details are vague at this point, but this suggests that Apple may be considering introducing a larger version of the iPad Air, or a more expensive model with better specs. Of course, Apple’s plans may change and this second version of the new iPad Air may never see the light of day.

In addition to a larger model, rumors expect this tablet to feature the M2 chip and some camera upgrades. That said, since the current iPad Air starts at $599 and the iPad Pro at $799, that means that a larger version of the Air would cost at least $699, but to not cannibalize its own market, a pricier model could mean that Apple might be planning to raise prices of the future iPad Pro.

Currently, there’s a $300 difference between the 11-inch and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro model due to the miniLED display. With the next generation expected to switch to OLED, this could mean that Apple is planning to increase the price of the 11-inch model.

But while it’s already hard to justify an iPad Pro, a larger iPad Air doesn’t look like it would be worth the price. Personally, I think Apple should worry about improving the storage capacity of the entry models rather than bringing a larger display.

That said, Apple could announce these iPads between now and early 2024, although it’s more likely that Cupertino will hold these announcements, alongside new M3 Macs, for early next year.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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