“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