Apple’s iPad Air is dead

“Apple has been widely expected to unveil an iPad Air 3 at its rumored March event,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “That would update the 9.7-inch model after Apple chose not to give the iPad Air 2 any love last fall. However, there is one notable change that we’re now hearing about. 9to5Mac‘s Mark Gurman is now reporting that Apple’s next 9.7-inch iPad won’t be called the iPad Air 3 at all.”

“Instead, Apple is now reportedly going to release its new 9.7-inch tablet as part of the iPad Pro family, expanding the Pro moniker,” Niu writes. “This smaller Pro model will use a similar A9X processor, include more RAM like the 12.9-inch model, and adopt the same four-speaker stereo audio system. Significantly, the device will feature an updated display that can support Apple Pencil. The new tablet is also said to support Apple’s Smart Keyboard, which implies that Apple has a smaller version of its keyboard cover ready, too.”

“The good news is that Apple is not expected to change pricing at all,” Niu writes. “This move makes a lot of sense since it would simplify the iPad branding. Instead of having three distinct families for Mini, Air, and Pro, this would consolidate the two more expensive products under the Pro umbrella. Apple could also justify this by saying only Pro models have stylus support for Apple Pencil, which Apple hopes will appeal to creative professionals. The current iPad Airs may still be sold at lower price points, but it looks as if they would eventually be phased out in favor of just the Mini and Pro.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll be first on line (or online). An iPad Air-sized iPad Pro will fit perfectly in our Crumpler backpacks with our 11-inch MacBook Air units!

Apple to launch 9.7-inch iPad Pro, not Air 3; likely to support Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil – February 25, 2016


    1. When has any Cook event ever been anything but underwhelming?

      He doesn’t release anything until the user base has petitioned for it for years. Then when Apple finally ships something, the pent up demand is huge and Apple can’t fulfil orders. But there is no “one more thing” from Apple anymore. Apple has many stale designs on the shelf that are desperately in need of improvement and instead of improving them, Cook is famous for authorizing products that are not ready for prime time, and in terms of software, often buggy and less capable than the predecessor.

      Finally, Apple’s doing a poor PR job as usual. While Cook spends all his time on social and now civil rights issues, it seems nobody is minding the product development. Rumors leak and are not refuted. The rumor mill essentially publishes all the details of the next iPhone months before we see it. Then at the reveal, Apple presenters are as entertaining as paint drying on the wall.

      Sorry, but the Jobs magic of user-focused product development is just gone. Apple looks, acts, and smells just like any other profit maximizing corporation, ignoring the details that once made Apple the unparalleled computer maker.

      1. Quite with the Cook bashing, mike! Your statement regarding that Cook does not “release anything until the user base has petitioned for it for years” is really no different than Apple under Jobs.

        I do not deny that Jobs was special, and I would certainly love to have him living and working at Apple right now. But this selective memory that paints everything under Steve Jobs as idyllic and everything under Cook as flawed is just total BS. I recall many, many complaints about the slow roll-out of products and features while Jobs was CEO. The fact is that Apple cannot please everyone. Apparently, no one can please you.

        1. Mike is right. Cook isn’t qualified to polish Jobs’ shoes.

          With a fraction of the resources that Cook now has, Jobs regularly delighted Apple users with truly great products. Jobs had a relentless focus on product greatness. Cook just spent the whole annual meeting talking about pleasing Wall Street and begging for more time to introduce the next innovative product.

          I am not impressed by social activist Cook when he clearly isn’t minding the simple continuous feedback from his customers. Everyone here has problem reports that they send to Apple, which Apple continues to ignore. This is no longer Jobs company.

          1. Ha ha ha, how quickly we forget that Cook is the man that allowed Jobs to turn Apple around from a company with dozens of unprofitable products into a streamlined operation that allowed Jobs to create the vision for the company that became one of the greatest turn-around success stories in American business history.

            Or did you think that Jobs did that all by himself with no help?

            1. Oh, I forgot that Apple was a two-person company. Here I thought it was just a sole proprietorship all these years. Thanks for the insightful comment….

              What Cook has done is exactly what ALL major US corporations have been rushing to do the last 25 years: outsource all manufacturing to China, the land of cheap communist labor.

            2. Yehhh, that started with Tim Cook. Suuurre it did.

              Also, Mike and Macuser, please give us five examples of mobile or computer companies that are oh-so-wonderfully better than Tim.

      2. @Mike

        You’re right on the money. Tim Cook has been nothing short of an unmitigated DISASTER for Apple and Apple consumers!

        The funny thing is… an entire industry has cropped up that exists solely to defend and apologize for this incompetent flake.

        They know he’s a joke but they are afraid to admit it, but it’s too late because the world has known it from day one.

        1. Is it me how its funny that the anti-cook writers are all un-registered. While I believe all should have the right to an opinion. This hate for Cook or Apple in general and demanding them to create miracles is just so…. 12 year old in basement style.

          Just my opinion.

  1. 9.7 inch iPad Pro is an instant winner and exactly what Apple needs to reinvigorate consumer’s interest. Game changer. I really hope it’s true. I have played with the 12 inch Pro. It’s definitely needed, but for me too big. I don’t have a need for that size of a tablet.

    Even a 7″ Pro with Pencil support would be welcome.

  2. How ’bout an iPad Pro Mini with the same internals as the new Pro 9.7 inch? I’d buy that in a heartbeat. But I think what they’ll probably do is just get rid of iPad Mini altogether.

  3. I held out on buying a new iPad last year because I was waiting for the iPad Pro, and then when that finally came out, I didn’t have the budget to get the model I wanted (almost a grand!). Then I started hearing rumblings about the new 9.7″ iPad Air 3/Pro with Pencil support, so now I’m waiting to see how that pans out. Yes, I know it’s all rather silly, but I’m hoping that 2016 is finally the year when the iPad lineup (larger than the mini at least) is uniformly kick-ass.

  4. Article’s OK (although anyone who takes investing advice from the Motley Fool IS a fool, IMO), but click bait headline (“No more iPad Air! Oh noooo)… …especially when all the Apple sites are carrying the rebranding story simply as such.

    Disappointing, MDN….

  5. It amazes me how suddenly after severely criticising stylus’s for years suddenly Apple makes a u-turn and they are the next best thing. I think it is good that Apple has added stylus functionality to tablets, the potential has been there for years and as usual Apple are dragged late to the party instead of leading the way.

    1. Colin, you just do not understand do you. Apple does not do something just to be first….. They wait until its right.

      Tablets existed and failed for 10 years…. until apple got it right, then the iPad exploded. Apple does not do crap just for bragging rights.

      1. What I In find difficult to understand is that belief. The stylus on the Note has been great for years, I see nothing worth waiting for on the Apple Pencil. Bigger iphones came late and they were far from perfect. Apple Music, even further from being perfect……

    2. I think it is reasonable to say that the Apple Pencil is not a stylus, as a stylus is in fact only a pointed, un-enhanced piece of plastic whose purpose is to create a smaller contact point than a fingertip.

      The Pencil is a software-integrated, mechanical input device that is battery-powered, pressure- and angle-sensitive.

      Comparing a stylus to Apple Pencil is like comparing a stick to a paintbrush.

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