New iPad Air: All the rumors about Apple’s iPad Air 6th generation

The iPad Air was last updated in March 2022 and rumors suggest that the arrival of a new model (or two!) could be coming soon. Here’s all we know so far about the 6th generation iPad Air.

An Apple event took place on October 30, but there were no new iPads at that event. Does this mean that there will be no new iPads in 2023? Read on to find out how long the wait is likely to be.

When will the new iPad Air be released?

  • Predicted: Spring 2024

The past three generations of iPad Air arrived about 18 months apart, so we are due an update. But Apple’s event on October 30 saw the company only launch new Macs. The iPad didn’t get a look in. Does this mean there will be no new iPad Air in 2023. It looks that way.

In fact, it is likely that 2023 will pass with not a single iPad update for the first time since Apple’s late CEO and founder Steve Jobs introduced the category in 2010.

The general consensus among the most trusted Apple forecasters is that the next-gen iPad Air is in development, but the new models just aren’t ready yet. Perhaps the delay is due to focus on the new Apple Vision Pro, set to launch in early 2024.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman had suggested (in a MacRumors Show podcast in early September) that a new iPad Air was “coming soonish” and that there could be a refresh in October, although probably not at an event. He then clarified (in a mid-October newsletter) that he didn’t think that the iPads will come in October. He wrote: “While I reported in July that Apple was planning such a release this year, the latest indications are that it won’t happen this month.”

Gurman now, understandably, doesn’t think that the iPad Air (or any iPad) will launch in 2023. He said in a November newsletter that Apple “plans to update its entire iPad lineup during 2024.”

Another reliable tipster, Ming-Chi Kuo, posted on X (formally Twitter) back in September that it was unlikely we’d see new iPads in 2023.

Then, in November 2023, Kuo elaborated on the upcoming iPads, saying that Apple will refresh all four iPad lines—standard, mini, Air, and Pro—in 2024.

Kuo claims a new iPad Air will be entering mass production in the first half of 2024.

New iPad Air size

  • Apple could be launching two sizes of iPad Air, with a new 12.9-inch model joining the lineup.

An October 9to5Mac report claimed, not only that “there are multiple new iPads on track for the coming months,” but that this includes two new iPad Air models. The site indicates that Apple “may be considering introducing a larger version of the iPad Air, or a more expensive model with better specs.” This theory seems to be based on the fact that there are two codenames associated with the new iPad Air: J507 and J508, with the only other iPads having two codenames being the iPad Pro, which comes in two sizes.

In November Ming Chi Kuo discussed the additional iPad Air size, saying that the iPad Air line will be split into two sizes: 10.9-inch and a new 12.9-inch model.

The 12.9-inch iPad Air will have a better screen, not just a bigger one, according to Kuo: “The 12.9-inch iPad Air is an all-new model, and while it lacks mini-LED, it benefits from an Oxide backplane (the same spec as the existing mini-LED iPad Pros), offering better display performance than the 10.9-inch iPad Air with an a-Si backplane.”

There is no indication as to what size this new iPad Air might be. Currently, the iPad Air has a 10.9-inch display. The iPad Pro has an 11-inch or 12.9-inch display. There are rumors that a 14-inch display could be coming to the new iPad Pro, so perhaps the new iPad Air display will be 12.9-inches.

iPad Air 5th gen


How much will the 6th gen iPad Air cost?

  • Outside the U.S. Apple shoppers are hoping Apple will reverse the price hikes of the past few years, as they did with the iPhone.

Regarding the potential pricing of the iPad Air 6, we can look at the generations that have preceded it as a clue for what you’ll have to pay when it finally does arrive.

iPad Air (5th Generation)

  • 64GB, Wi-Fi – $599 / £669
  • 256GB, Wi-Fi – $749 / £849
  • 64GB, Cellular – $749 / £849
  • 256GB, Cellular – $899 / £1,029

iPad Air (4th Generation)

  • 64GB, Wi-Fi – $599 / £579
  • 256GB, Wi-Fi – $749 / £729
  • 64GB, Cellular – $729 /£709
  • 256GB, Cellular – $879 / £859

As you can see, Apple kept most of the pricing roughly the same for its U.S. customers when moving between the last few generations, while outside the U.S. buyers got hit with aggressive price hikes (something that happened across all Apple products, see Is Apple ripping off the rest of the world with inflated prices?) Apple reversed these extortionate price rises when it introduced the iPhone 15, so we are hopeful that outside the U.S. Apple shoppers may see iPad prices decrease.

If Apple does introduce a higher spec or larger iPad Air to accompany the current size, we could see lower prices at the entry level and higher prices at the top of the range.

Naturally, a model with improved hardware will cost more, but as there is currently only around $200/£200 between the iPad Air 5th gen and the 11in iPad Pro, there isn’t a lot of room for a new tier. If Apple does introduce a larger iPad Air it seems likely it would be priced around $100/£100 above the regular iPad Air. This would be similar to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, so maybe Apple is just offering size variants for customers rather than differently equipped ‘iPad Air Plus’ models.

What new features will we see in the iPad Air 6?

For a device whose release could be imminent, there’s not actually that many rumors or leaks out there. This might be a case of Apple tightening up any leaks that were appearing in its production chain, or that any updates to the iPad Air will be minimal.

A new processor

The most obvious area where the iPad Air 6 will be superior to the current iPad Air 5 is in the processor that powers it. The iPad Air 5 already boasts a pretty nifty M1 chip, but the 11-inch iPad Pro has been sporting M2 silicon for over a year, with reports suggesting it will get an update to a new M3 chipset. This would allow Apple to raid its parts bin and move the M2 to the iPad Air 6, while retaining the newest silicon for its Pro platform.

Tech tipster Revegnus posted on X/Twitter that this could be the case.

New display technology

Another change Apple could be looking to bring to iPads is OLED displays. Rumors of OLED screens coming to the iPad lineup have popped up with regularity over the years. Apple is said to be in negotiations with LG, Samsung, and Chinese companies for active matrix OLEDs (AMOLEDs) that could be coming to the iPad Air and iPad mini.

While this would represent an excellent upgrade, it seems that the roadmap for this is 2025/2026, so there’s no chance that it will arrive in time for the iPad Air 6. Maybe the iPad Air 7?

However, there may be screen upgrades coming sooner than that. As mentioned above, in November 2023 analyst Ming Chi Kuo suggested that a new 12.9-inch iPad Air will feature a better screen with an Oxide backplane, as seen in the current mini-LED iPad Pros), “offering better display performance than the 10.9-inch iPad Air with an a-Si backplane.”

More storage

Since the release of the iPhone 13, Apple has offered a baseline storage capacity of 128GB. Sadly, this hasn’t been the case with the iPad Air, which currently starts at a rather paltry 64GB. Could the iPad Air 6 finally see this change? We hope rather than know that when the iPad Air 6 turns up, it will be endowed with a roomy 128GB so that it could become the laptop replacement Apple has been marketing it as for a while now.

We will continue to monitor the latest news and rumors surrounding the iPad Air (6th Generation), so be sure to check back regularly to see what we can find.

In the meantime, here’s a selection of the best deals for the iPad Air 5.













Source : Macworld