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New iPad Air 3 release date & new features rumours

Christopher Minasians | June 24, 2016
iPad Air 3 concept video is everything the iPad Pro 9.7in should've been and more

On the other hand, some leftfield rumours suggest that Apple may have brought the Air line to an end, and will in future focus on the mini and Pro ranges. Now that the Pro brand encompasses 9.7-inch iPads, this previously crazy-sounding theory could just be right.

iPad Air 3 UK onsale date rumours

When will the iPad Air 3 go on sale in the UK? There's usually a delay of around 10 days between the announcement and the devices going on sale. If the Air 3 launches in mid-September 2016, for example, then expect it to hit UK shops in late September.

There are occasionally shortages when a major Apple product launches, so those who are desperate to get their hands on the Air 3 would be wise to place a pre-order if possible. (Pre-ordering using Apple's own Apple Store app rather than on the website often appears to give you a head start that could make all the difference.)

iPad Air 3 design rumours: Smart Connector for Smart Keyboard

It's an obvious logical progression from the 12.9- and 9.7-inch iPad Pro models, but it seems likely that the iPad Air 3 will have a Smart Connector on the lefthand edge for attaching a Smart Keyboard Cover.

Most iPad accessories are dependent on their own battery power - even the Apple Pencil has to be recharged, albeit very quickly, when it runs out of charge - but the Smart Connector allows a connected keyboard cover to draw power from the iPad's battery. In the larger iPad Pro's case, that means a very long usage time, since it has a monster battery; hopefully the iPad Air 3 will be able to offer something impressive in that department too.

iPad Air 3 design rumours: Apple Pencil compatibility

When Apple launched the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it was the only tablet that was compatible with the Apple Pencil. That made sense at the time - it was a unique selling point for Apple's most expensive tablet. But plenty of iPad Air owners have told us they would dearly love to be able to use the Pencil, one of the best styluses on the market, with their device, and it would be reasonable to add compatibility to a wider range of devices over the coming year.

Apple started that process with the 9.7-inch Pro, and we expect Pencil capabilities to diffuse downwards through the range.

iPad Air 3 rumours: Apple Pencil compatibility

iPad Air 3 design rumours: Thinner than the iPad Air 2

Physically, it's rumoured that the next iPad Air will be... wait for it... thinner than its predecessor.

 

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