iPad Air 3 rumored to have 4K screen, 4GB of RAM and improved battery

By , Jan 28, 2016

iPad Air 2 (Lock screen, Silver, Gold, Space Gray 001

Apple is widely expected to announce a third-generation iPad Air at a March event in a few weeks time and the latest supply chain chatter has it that the device will come outfitted with an ultra sharp display boasting a 4K resolution, or nearly four times the pixels of Apple’s current-generation 9.7-inch 2,048-by-1,536 pixel Retina display.

According to Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, it’ll also have an improved battery life and feature four gigabytes of RAM versus the iPad Air 2’s two gigs of RAM.

I don’t expect the added RAM and increased battery capacity to translate into smoother multitasking and longer run times versus the second-generation iPad Air.

If the iPad Air 3 has a 4K screen, it will need more RAM and increased memory bandwidth to feed image data to the GPU just to match the iPad Air 2’s performance. Also, 4K screens consume more energy due to higher pixel count so an improved battery package would be needed just to maintain the iPad’s ten-hour battery life.

General Interface Solution and TPK Holding will supply touch panels for the device, GIS will be responsible for LCD modules and touch panels along with backlighting products.

The iPad Air 3 is not expected to implement 3D Touch, however.

“Apple believes that despite a decline in the tablet market and increased competition globally, it still has a base of dedicated customers who are looking to upgrade their iPads,” reads the report.

Source: DigiTimes

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  • h4nd0fg0d

    Boom, instabuy!!!!!

  • Jake Platt

    Everything I’m hearing about the iPad Air 3 is sounding great. A 4K screen would be a fantastic addition.

    • Daniel Waske

      I’m not sure how a 4K screen will improve the user experience, though. 4 GB of ram, the A9X and the rumored four speakers definitely, but 4K?

      • Lt_R

        It would make my eyes water, but that’s about it.

      • Jackson Grong

        iPad sales dropped 25% compared to last year, Apple needs to impress.

      • Jeff B

        Not surprising… Tablet Market is now close to saturated.

      • Rowan09

        Impress how?

      • therealjjohnson

        They aren’t dropping because the iPads are good, people are just still using the older ones.

      • Jake Platt

        4K content looks stunning, so the option to be able to view 4K movies or content on your tablet is a massive drawcard in a struggling tablet market. In addition, it should be able to hopefully record and take photos in 4K, as well as allow iPhone 6s users to view their 4K videos. If anyone has any doubt as to how good 4K can look on a smaller screen, they should just view some of the 4K content installed on the Sony Xperia Z5.

      • Clement Yeo

        so u can tell the difference by looking at the screen itself and tell us its 2k / 4k? Well , I cant

      • stylesbeyond

        i can, even 4k to 5k i can tell the differences

      • Jake Platt

        As I said it depends on the content. If the video is mastered in 4K I can absolutely tell the difference.

      • I’m not entirely sure 4GB of RAM would improve the user experience. My iPad Air 2 doesn’t exactly lag much and it’s processor is no slouch either. Other than the new speaker layout the iPad Air 3 sounds like a very incremental update.

        TLDR; Nothing groundbreaking, just another update.

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    If this is true, then this is what I predicted a couple weeks ago. People were all complaining oh Apple wont do this or we don’t need a higher res display. But think about it…those who have 6S’s and record in 4K, where would they be able to view the content if they don’t have a huge monitor? NOW they can easily!

    • Daniel Waske

      but why didn’t Apple then introduce a 4K iPad Pro right away? or to put it in another way: if I bought an iPad Pro a couple of weeks ago I would be really really pissed if Apple released an even higher resolution iPad Air 3 less than half a year later…

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        Well they did it with the Ipad 3rd gen and 4th gen…so its def possible.

    • Innes

      Its still such a small screen that you’re not going to see any difference between the picture quality of the two iPads. After 300ppi it gets near impossible for the human eye to see the difference. 4K is great news for TVs though as it means you can get much bigger screens without losing quality.

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        If certain apps support it and you’re viewing 4K content, then I think you will. As people are saying, Apple needs to do something big to get people to update their iPads. This would def be it. Although the source is hit and miss so theres that.

    • Blip dude

      Buy a TV. I don’t mind a 4K iPad, but as someone who actually records on the 6S+ in 4K, it’s not a big deal to not be able to watch the actual 4K content. I would much honestly prefer a non-4K res display especially if it means completely avoiding the same fiasco of the iPad 3. The performance comes first, then keeping the same thinness. No need to make it thinner either, the size of the iPad Air 2 is perfect.

      Also, the iPad doesn’t initially come to mind when watching something I recorded on an iPhone, simply because maybe most would much rather watch their content (regardless of resolution) on a 40″+ 1080p television than on a 10 inch 4K tablet.

  • DevXav

    How about the new macbooks?

    • Daniel Waske

      Yes, exactly, especially the 15″ rMBP is really due for an update! Also, I so much hope that they’ll upgrade the MacBook with the latest Skylake Core m and a second USB-C port. I srsly wouldn’t care losing the headphone jack in this case (totally different thing with iPhones though…)

      • socrates

        I completely agree. All I would add is that the MacBook needs to adapt to ThunderBolt 3 capable USB-C ports, for things such as external GPU housing.

        I would immediately sell my Air 2 and start saving for the MacBook if that happened.

    • Bigfoot Expert

      yeah I want a 15 inch mbk 12 is too small for me

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    How much better can an iPad Air’s battery get? Why not focus attention on the iPhone’s battery? It’s like saying the new Bugatti vehicle will get a faster more powerful engine. Like it’s not fast or powerful enough.

    • Rowan09

      They focus on battery every year.

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        The Apple Smart Battery Case is really telling, at least for the regular-sized iPhones. To me, it sounds like they’ve given up and just decided to release this accessory to make up for the subpar battery life on the regular-sized devices.

  • James G

    Why no 3D Touch?

    • Garrett

      The sensors currently used in the iPhone 6S don’t work on a larger display, so a new method is being developed.

      • James G

        Fair enough. But it seems lame that now the iPad is the only product without force/3D touch.

      • Garrett

        Also, remember when the iPhone 5S had Touch ID, it was the only iOS device that had it, then the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus got it. Only after 2 generations of iPhones with Touch ID, did the iPad finally get it. My guess is that the iPhone 7 and 7 plus will both feature 3D Touch, then iPads will get it.

        I view 3D Touch and Force Touch differently, while they both provide pressure sensitivity, they have different uses. View 3D Touch the same as Touch ID, and you’ll see Apple’s reasoning.

        I excluded Force Touch because the Mac has the right click, whereas iOS devices don’t. The right click brings up menus the same way 3D Touch does. The Mac doesn’t need a duplication of something that already exists. 3D Touch is the right click and the Force Touch to iOS. The watch has the Digital Crown which clicks and rotates. Plus, with it being so small, adding multiple layers wouldn’t make as much sense on watchOS as it does on iOS.

        Personally, I’d like to see 3D Touch integrated into tvOS through an updated remote/remote app. It would let you peek at content, if you like what you see press harder.

  • Johnson Noel

    So when do the MacBook usually come out. I want one but I wanna get an updated one.

  • misterz

    My first wish for the iPad Air 3 is support for the Apple Pencil!

  • Martynet

    I want 18″ or 19″ Macbook Pro 🙂

    • iPhoneWINS


  • tariq

    Battery will improve by a lot if they just have a 2K instead of 4k. And I’m not sure but from my understanding, human eye cant tell the difference between 2K & 4K screen

    • Tony Trenkle Jr.

      Yeah I wouldn’t mind a 2K display. I mean I don’t like Samsung devices but their screens are beautiful!

  • iPhoneWINS

    4K screen, 4GB of RAM and improved battery yup sounds like a typical apple update…

  • therealjjohnson

    Battery has never been an issue for me on the iPad. Any generation.

  • Matt

    I’ll believe it when I see it

  • Garrett

    Maybe not, because that would put the iPad at a higher pixel density than the iPhone 6S Plus. Unless Apple is planning to upstage the Retina HD display with a Super Retina(Retina+) display, I’d say not happening.

  • tariq

    Yeah, but its a phone and its a hand distance away. So idk, the xperia z5 (4K) screen reviews basically made it sound like its not THAT great of a spec to have