We were expecting the iPad Air 4 to launch sometime before the end of the year, but a new rumor suggests it could come later than that - and with a higher price than its predecessor.
This comes from Twitter leaker @komiya_kj (opens in new tab) - who, it's worth pointing out, doesn't have much of a track record, so it's worth taking their claim with a pinch of salt. Komiya posted a big list of information on Apple's next iPad Air, which - if true - could disappoint some but also impress others.
According to this leak, the iPad Air 4 will be unveiled in early March next year, not by the end of this year as we thought, and with a price starting at around $649 (roughly £500, AU$900). Depending on your region, that's more, or a lot more, than the iPad Air 3's starting price of $499 / £479 / AU$779, though that converted price might not accurately reflect costs in various regions.
So people who were hoping for a bigger version of an entry-level iPad might end up being disappointed, because according to the specs provided alongside the release information, this is more like an 'iPad Pro Lite'.
iPad Air specs
iPad Air(gen4)-iPad Pro design -Face ID-11”-USB-C-4 Speakers -Liquid Retina-Single Camera (Ultra Wide?)-A14X-128,256,512GB?-$649~August 11, 2020
According to the leak, the new iPad Air is designed similar to the iPad Pro - there's no information on what aspect of the design this refers to, but it likely means the home button will be gone and the bezels will be shrunk, especially as the leak also mentions that Face ID will be present - meaning there's no need for a Touch ID fingerprint scanner.
In addition, the tablet will apparently have an 11-inch screen, which is one of the sizes the iPad Pro comes in, although there's also a 12.9-inch option for them too.
Something professional users might find impressive in the new iPad Air, if the leak is accurate, is that it'll have a USB-C port, for faster charging and data connectivity than the Lightning port, which previous iPad Airs had. It apparently also supports all the peripherals the iPad Pro has including the Apple Pencil 2 and both its keyboard folios.
The leaker posits both the A14X Bionic, and then later in the tweet chain just the A14, as the chipset. We're expecting the latter to be present in the iPhone 12, and the former is likely a tweaked version designed for tablets, but since the iPhone 12 isn't out yet we don't know what kind of processing power this would provide.
Apparently the iPad Air 4 will have one rear camera, like previous iPad Airs - this is one way the device depicted in the leak differs from the iPad Pros.
Differences between the devices are few and far between though - the leak also states the new iPad Air will have four stereo speakers, and a Liquid Retina Display like other iPad Pros.
If you're familiar with iPad Pro models, you'll feel you just read a spec list of those devices, because very little is different. When the iPad Air 4 is released, we'll have to see how they actually compare.