iPad Air 3 will be a smaller iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard, Pencil support

By , Feb 25, 2016

iPad Pro with Apple Pencil lifestyle 005

The rumored iPad Air 3 will actually bear iPad Pro branding when it lands next month, reports 9to5Mac. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the site claims that Apple plans to carry its MacBook Pro strategy over to its Pro tablet line.

“Much like the MacBook Pro comes in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, the iPad Pro will soon come in 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch variations.” The move makes sense, considering that the new iPad is expected to feature most of the Pro’s internals.

The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro will debut at Apple’s Tuesday, March 15th event and begin shipping as soon as March 18th, we previously reported. The smaller iPad Pro will have nearly identical features and specifications as the bigger model, bringing along the A9X processor and RAM upgrades from the 12.9-inch model. It will also include the 12.9-inch model’s updated display technology to support the Apple Pencil.

Additionally, the smaller iPad Pro is expected to feature a Smart Connector, and Apple is said to be preparing a new version of its Smart Keyboard for the tablet. It’s also said to offer dual sets of speakers, and possible a flash for the rear camera.

Other potential items on the docket for next month’s event include the long-rumored 4-inch iPhone 5se, which is said to have an A9 processor and a design similar to the iPhone 5s, as well as new Apple Watch band colors and other accessories.

Source: 9to5Mac

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  • Valinor

    Am I glad I didnt go for the ipad air 2 last year.
    I hope they wont put it between the pro and the air 2 pricewise.
    Pro is 799 dollars, air 2 is 499 dollars.
    Hope it gets on the market for 499.

    • Charles222

      I might tradein my Air 2 for this. 64GB storage + Pro hardware and a slightly smaller screen seems pleasing to me.

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        Thats what I’m probably gonna do. I love my Air 2, but all that with 4GB of RAM and a potential 4K display? Thats almost a day 1 purchase for me!

      • Charles222

        It probably won’t be 4K; would have to change the display ratio for that. But yeah, a-Pencil support and a huge surplus of RAM would be nice.

    • JayDee917

      Of course they’re going to put it between the Air and the full-sized Pro.

    • Jack Wong

      I found that I don’t really lose that much if I trade and upgrade the iPhone/iPad yearly, I lose like $1.25 a day.

      I wonder if I should upgrade it for my wife this year, she has a iPad air 2 but since she got the iPhone 6s plus, she doesn’t really use the iPad that much.

      But… I really doubt if it will stay at 499 price point… Apple is good at jacking up the price for their product…

  • That pretty much lines up with what we’d been talking about on Let’s Talk iOS. It looks like a Pro, has the spec of a Pro, all this in a smaller package. It’s actually smart from Apple. They still get to sell iPad Air 2 starting at $499 ($599 for 64GB), while iPad Pro full size starts at $799 for 32GB. That means iPad Pro mini can come in at $699. And of course, you still have iPad mini 4 starting at $399. All bases are covered: $399, $499, $599, $699, $799. All this without making the line too confusing.

    • Mr.Coolfreak

      I don’t think they would increase the price of their most popular tablet, especially when sales are struggling

      • I Never said they would do such a thing

      • Mr.Coolfreak

        You said iPad pro mini can come in at 599 or 699.

      • JayDee917

        iPad PRO mini. Not the regular iPad mini. But for the record I hope that’s not the official name. People would get it confused like this guy did.

    • Blip dude

      Again, why call it iPad Pro mini when really just about all this was rumored to be an “iPad Air 3??”

    • Valinor

      I think you’re right. 599 for the the 32gb and 699 for the 64gb makes sense.
      For me personally that would suck though. Not willing to spend that much money on an ipad.

  • Blip dude

    So as I mentioned else, this is an iPad Air then?? It sounds to like with the exception of 4 GB of RAM and a higher resolution screen this is all the yet to be announced iPad Air 3 has been rumored to be right?? So why on earth call it an iPad Pro mini?? Hell, I wouldn’t even call it iPad Air just yet either.

  • Eli Montoya

    You show me an iPad, the only think I will know if it’s an iPad, ipad pro, or iPad mini.

  • HamptonWalley

    Is possible it wont be named Air 3, but Ipad Pro Small?

    • Micke på taket

      iPad mini PRO small deluxe is the correct name

  • Jake Platt

    This sounds great. The iPad Pro is an awesome tablet, but far too large for me personally. To have the iPad Pro hardware and features in an iPad Air sized device would be the perfect mix.

    • Gary le

      When I first saw the ipad pro I said… “Damn thats huge!” And…….. Thats what she said too lol.