Leaker casts doubt on imminent 12.9-inch iPad Air claims

Apple's new iPad Air refresh is expected soon but a new report claims rumors of a larger 12.9-inch version might have been premature.

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Apple is largely expected to unveil a number of new iPads within the next few weeks including a pair of iPad Pro tablets as well as at least one new iPad Air. We thought that recent rumors had cemented what we could expect from the new tablets, but a new report has thrown cold water on one particularly interesting aspect of those previous rumors.

We've been hearing all kinds of rumors but the key one was that the existing 11.9-inch model will be joined by a whole new 12.9-inch version for the first time. The move would give the iPad Air a new option for people who want a big display but don't want to pay for the iPad Pro, but a new leak suggests that it might not happen after all.

That leak comes via the X leaker @ShrimpApplePro, with the suggestion being that while their source has seen the smaller 11-inch model, the larger one has so far been AWOl. It's that that might mean that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is not in the works after all.

That's an interesting assertion but there have been so many reports that a larger iPad Air is in Apple's plans, so it will be mighty interesting to see what Apple comes out with. There have been some claims that such a launch might happen in or around the end of March and a new report today pointed the finger at a March 26 announcement date. However, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman believes that the iPadOS 17.4 software update that will power the tablets is still weeks away, suggesting that even if Apple does announce the new iPad Air it won't reach stores for some time yet.

As for what the new iPad Air will offer, there are currently no suggestions that buyers can look forward to some big design changes. However, there have been reports that Apple might move the FaceTime camera from the top of the iPad Air to the side for the first time - making it better for use when connected to a keyboard and trackpad.

Internally, we expect the new iPad Air to use Apple's M2 chip, a notable upgrade over the previous-gen M1, with the M3 chip being reserved for the range-topping iPad Pro instead.

ShrinkApplePro says that either the blue or pink colors could be removed this time around, but it's still very much a question of waiting and seeing what Apple does before we can be certain about anything right now.

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NEWS SOURCES:twitter.com, apple.com

Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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