Something could be missing from the rumored September 9 Apple event.
A new report from Digitimes says that Apple isn’t planning to introduce a new version of the iPad Air this fall, instead choosing to focus on a faster, fourth-generation iPad mini.
The long-rumored “iPad Pro,” featuring a 12.9-inch screen, is also rumored to make an appearance before the end of 2015.
If the report is true, that means Apple wouldn’t be introducing a new version of the 9.7-inch tablet for the first time since 2010.
The iPad mini 4 is coming, though
According to the site, Apple is turning “conservative” about the tablet line because of sharply declining sales.
While an “iPad Air 3” could indeed be introduced this fall, there’s been no solid evidence yet of the tablet’s existence.
That’s in stark contrast to the new iPad mini. Just this week, we learned that the tablet should be as slim as the current iPad Air 2 and will also support the spilt-screen multitasking feature in iOS 9. The third-generation iPad mini, with its A7 chip, doesn’t support that great feature.
What it means
Even though the Digitimes track record on Apple’s rumors is suspect, at best, don’t be all that surprised if Apple takes a year off on producing a new iPad Air. It makes a lot of sense.
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated in March that he believes the iPad market will eventually start to pick up – he just doesn’t know when. Taking the year off would allow Apple to regroup and redouble its efforts on producing technology that will actually get users to upgrade as fast as they do with their iPhones.
And I suspect Apple could do something like drop the price of the current iPad Air 2 and make as much revenue as introducing a next-generation model. I’d love to see Apple banish the 16GB iPad Air 2 to a fiery death and start the 64GB Wi-Fi model at $499. That might actually get me interested in upgrading from my original iPad Air.
By putting the iPad Air in a holding pattern, Apple could also focus all of its marketing and sales efforts into the larger, and more profitable, “iPad Pro.” That tablet, judging by the rumors, might actually be able to jump start the market all by itself. I’ve been patiently waiting for its arrival, and will be in line on day one if it can actually be anything close to a MacBook replacement.
Have you been waiting to purchase an “iPad Air 3?”