iPad Pro 2 is on the way, that is a certainty, but when, and what does this mean for iPad Air 3?
The iPad Pro is due an update, being almost 2 years since it’s last decent refresh. Since the release of the original 12.9″ model, the smaller iPad Pro has made the iPad Air 2 all but redundant. Boasting better camera, color, speed and, well, everything else, there is little reason for the consumer to choose the Air 2. Indeed, it is unlikely Apple would release an Air or Pro with significantly different design to one of its’ brethren; Apple values conformity in their design language more than any company out there.
Leaks are everywhere online now; even the iPhone 7 had accurate leaks int he weeks before it was unveiled. This never happened in the Jobs era; indeed it is an unspoken work in the industry that there leaks usually originate from inside the manufacturers as a way to stoke up interest in devices. Nevertheless, there have been no image leaks thus far for any new models in the iPad range. There are reports coming from the Far East however stating there will definitely be updated iPads coming, and coming soon it seems. What does the lack of leaked imagery suggest? Well to my mind, this points to the new iPad line being iterative updates with no huge changes to the aesthetics of the devices.
How long can Apple get away with this samey design language every year? Well, the iPad is the King of the tablet market, by quite a distance, and they will likely dictate trends of tablets going forward too. The iPad Pro and Apple Pencil was a slightly bold move from the company and there are no more juicy rumors floating around of anything revolutionary in the pipeline.
Will Apple kill the iPad Air line to make shopping for an iPad clearer for the consumer? Perhaps, but unlikely. The air still generates significant revenue and Apple are all about the bottom line. The Air will likely remain slightly cheaper with a few less features than the Pro, this will not matter to most consumers. An iPad or 3 or 4 years ago still gets updates and performs well for the majority of light users.
The Spring Apple event has not yet been announced, but it is likely we will hear when this is happening in the coming days or weeks. Apple needs to make some noise and another event is the perfect way to to this.