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The 'iPad Air 3' is shaping up to be a mini version of the iPad Pro

The 'iPad Air 3' is shaping up to be a mini version of the iPad Pro

February 1, 2016

Another day, another leak of the rumored “iPad Air 3.” This time, Engadget is showing a new schematic reaffirming earlier speculation that the tablet will be featuring four speakers and a rear-facing LED camera flash.

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Another schematic of the rumored “iPad Air 3.”

Interestingly, this drawing definitely shows the presence of a Smart Connector first unveiled on the iPad Pro. As a reminder, the special connector on the longer side of the tablet allows users to connect and power add-on keyboards – including Apple’s own smart model.

The four-speaker setup is similar to what also appears on the iPad Pro. The larger iPad model automatically recognizes whether its being held in a portrait or landscape orientation and provides the best sound possible. Adding a rear flash would help users capture better images with their tablets.

But there will apparently be a tradeoff with the model. Here’s more from Engadget:

Alas, as with all things in life, there is a slight trade-off with these extra goodies. If the dimensions listed here are to be trusted, then it appears that the iPad Air 3 will be 0.05 mm thicker and 0.1 mm wider than its predecessor. If you recall, there were similar marginal differences between the iPhone 6s models and their iPhone 6 counterparts. Existing soft cases for the iPad Air 2 will probably fit the new tablet just fine, but hard cases may scratch the body over time — as is the result of forcing some iPhone 6 cases onto the iPhone 6s. Besides, it’s not like you’ll want to cover up the LED flash nor the two extra speakers, anyway (nor the Smart Connector, if you’re picking up a smaller Smart Keyboard for this new iPad).


Last week, another report confirmed that the new tablet will more than likely be unveiled at a special media event tentatively scheduled for the week of March 14. At the event, Apple is also expected to unveil the rumored “iPhone 5se” and a number of new bands for the Apple Watch.

The new iPhone will apparently offer support for Apple Pay and Live Photos and sport the same A9 and M9 chips found in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. That means users will be able to activate the always-on Siri.

It will ship in the same silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold color options as the iPhone 6s line and be offered in a 16GB and 64GB version.

On the watch side, Apple will reportedly be introducing new band options along with possibly other software improvements in the spring. A completely revamped “Apple Watch 2″ is scheduled for sometime in the fall.

For other recent news, see: Apple updating ‘Shot on iPhone’ ad campaign with iPhone 6s photos, 6 great apps for the 2016 US presidential election, and Don’t just email, send it via Airmail.

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