iPad Air 3 Cases to Fit Four Speakers, Rear Flash, and Smart Connector Appear

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Last week, a design drawing surfaced claiming to show an ipad air 3 with a few differences compared to the current iPad Air 2, most notably a stereo four-speaker design similar to the iPad Pro and an apparent LED flash located below the rear camera.

    The design drawing likely came from a third-party manufacturer, and these companies apparently now feel comfortable enough to begin producing cases based on the design, as seen through Chinese site Alibaba's 1688.com business portal (via Nowhereelse.fr).


    The new low-cost cases currently selling at around $3-4 each in quantities of 500 or more and even cheaper for greater quantities match the earlier design drawing, including two slots on each of the top and bottom edges to accommodate the device's speakers, and a teardrop cutout on the rear to fit the camera with an LED flash below.

    At least one of the cases appears to have a cutout along the left side that matches the shape and location of the Smart Connector used to dock and power accessories such as keyboards on the iPad Pro. A Smart Connector was not observed in the design drawing from last week and does not appear to be included on the other case being offered for sale.


    Other features appear identical to the iPad Air 2, including a decently large cutout high on the right edge of the device for the volume buttons, and small holes on the right edge and next to the rear camera for microphones. Additional cutouts for the headphone jack and power button on top and the Lightning port on the bottom are also present.

    Apple opted not to update the iPad Air lineup last September when it debuted the iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro, and a new iPad Air 3 has been rumored for release during the first half of this year, most likely at a March media event.

    Article Link: iPad Air 3 Cases to Fit Four Speakers, Rear Flash, and Smart Connector Appear
  2. mabaker macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2008
    For people who appreciate good sound quality output this iPad may be really interesting.
  3. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020


    Sep 11, 2006
    Sacramento, CA USA
    I wonder will Apple upgrade the RAM on the iPad Air 3 to 4 GB. If they do, I'm retiring my iPad Air and replacing it with this. :)
  4. gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    Is the smart connector a separate connector / port or is it an enhanced lightning connector?
  5. CE3 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2014
    If it has 4 speakers, 4GB of RAM and A9X, I'm sold :)
  6. teslo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2014
    2 marginally improved front facing speakers would have been just as good, imo. we'll see
  7. Charadis macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2010
    It's about time we get a flash! Now..how about the mini?
  8. Chupa Chupa macrumors G4

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Are you being tongue in cheek or for real?
  9. 4God macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    There, fixed it for you. :D
  10. xxFoxtail macrumors newbie


    Nov 8, 2015
    Syracuse, NY
    So it's basically a small iPad Pro. I wonder if it'll support the Pencil. That'll be one way to make me regret my Pro purchase.
  11. Mike MA, Jan 31, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016

    Mike MA macrumors 65816

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    Four speakers would be a big improvement when working or especially playing in landscape mode and though currently losing the stereo sound.
  12. Winter Charm macrumors 6502a

    Winter Charm

    Jul 31, 2008
    totally separate connector.
  13. joeblow7777 macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2010
    I doubt they will. The iOS product line (excluding iPods) only just got to 2GB across all devices less than 6 months ago, and given that the vast majority of iOS devices currently being supported still have 1GB, why on Earth would Apple jump to 4GB so soon on anything but the iPad Pro? I don't even see a point to 4GB of RAM on iOS. Sure, some people were starting to feel restricted by 1GB, but are people really feeling that 2GB isn't enough already? What on iOS uses that much RAM unless you feel the need to have 100 browser tabs open? Even desktop OSs can run smoothly on 4GB or less. It's overkill for iOS which still only has the most basic multitasking functionality.
  14. dantracht macrumors member


    Sep 19, 2013
    OMG a case has appeared, it must be official! Geez.
  15. Grolubao macrumors 65816

    Dec 23, 2008
    I just care for RAM really. As long as there's more than 2GB it's a winner for me. There's never too many RAM.

    RAM will determine how multitasking will behave
  16. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    I'm skeptical Apple will release an official keyboard for the Air. But if it takes other Pro design cues that will be a good thing. My Pro never gets warm and there is very little speaker vibration. The complete opposite of my Air 2.

    I don't know if this is a function of RAM or the A9X chip (or a little of both) but split screen works so much better on my Pro than my Air 2. My Pro never feels sluggish, my Air 2 does sometimes.
  17. Grolubao macrumors 65816

    Dec 23, 2008
    Honestly, I believe this is it: 4 speakers, flash, better processor and that's it :(
  18. dantracht macrumors member


    Sep 19, 2013
    Glad I got the air 2. Snooze.
  19. joeblow7777 macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2010
    I've never noticed any sluggishness using splitscreen on my Mini 4...
  20. bnmcj1 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2014
    This is it. Computers are turning into gorilla arm input.
  21. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    All this AND pencil support any my gen1 mini is getting replaced. No pencil, no replacement.
  22. sanke1 macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2010
    That attitude would have kept us on 512 MB RAM forever.
  23. sunapple macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    The iPad Pro is very expensive, but has some notable features the iPad Air does not have. I guess it will be a lot harder to justify its price when the Air becomes the exact same device, but smaller en 400€ less.
  24. BWhaler macrumors 68020


    Jan 8, 2003
    Four speakers are a great addition, no doubt. And the way Apple has implemented stereo sound is wonderful. When I owned the iPad Pro—I returned it—it was one of the more startling additions.

    But for me, the decision to upgrade will come down to 3D touch and the Pencil.
  25. npmacuser5 macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2015
    Not sure why 4 speakers in an iPad will be of use to me. I use higher quality headphones and or speakers. I would prefer more in memory, battery, highest quality sound, then more small speakers. Wait and see what it sounds like, may change my mind.

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