iPad iPad Air 3: 4K, thinner, 3GB RAM?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ApplePhy, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. ApplePhy macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2013
    came across this while on flipboard earlier tonight


    '...iPad Air 3 may cannibalize the 12-inch MacBook sales with its rumored specs and features. International Business Times alleged that the upcoming iPad Air 3 will be thinner than its predecessor. It will boast the same 9.7 inch screen display, but with 4K resolution. Under the hood, the tablet is reported to be powered by the A9X processor paired with 3GB or 4GB of RAM.

    Other top of the line specs purported to be included in the anticipated iPad Air 3 are 3D Touch technology and water and dust resistance...'

    If this is actually the case, then this would be a very nice upgrade for the Air3, indeed.
  2. Robstevo macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2014
    so it's thinner even with 3d-touch, while at the same time as powering a 4k display? Sounds wonderful for battery life.

    I smell bull.
  3. OTACORB macrumors 65816


    Jun 21, 2009
    Central, Louisiana
    I don't understand the fascination with making these things thinner and thinner. Sure Apple can pull that off and we'll end up with 5 or 6 hours of battery life. There has to be a fine balance between common sense for where battery tech is vs the thickness and weight of the device. I hope Apple doesn't go off all stupid on us.
  4. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    No chance of any of this except possibly 3d touch.
    -Faster: obviously
    -Apple Pencil: definitely
    -3D touch: maybe
    -Better battery: hopefully
    -4k? No chance.
  5. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    What's wrong with current resolution of the iPad Air? It wouldn't make any sense to change the resolution now. It's not needed. It also doesn't make sense to try to make it thinner. Especially when you consider adding 3D Touch to it would only add thickness. I call BS

    If will largely look the same but with better speakers. Smart connector. Apple pencil support. 3D Touch is a given. I think that's pretty much it. I don't even think they'll increase the ram. It took them forever just to get to 2gb. They're gonna up it again already? Nah
  6. mr.bee macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2007
    Brussels, belgium
    haha, cannibalisation on the rmb for the iPad 3? yeah...they are certainly in the same price category...this is bs
  7. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    I don't understand why people "need" 4K on a small screen device. 4K on mobile devices is the new megapixel, where it has become a number on spec sheet for marketing purposes only. Retina is already great, and performance would be awesome with the A9X. I don't need extra resolution just to have a checkmark on paper.

    I really wish for Apple pencil support. I was intrigued with the Apple pencil, but I think the iPP is just too big for my usage scenarios. It would be even more awesome if Apple trickle the feature all the way down to the iPad mini as I prefer the mini's form factor.
  8. mdridwan47 macrumors 6502


    Jan 20, 2014
    Here are the Rumored specs for iPad Air 3 as of November 2015
    • Display: So the rumor is the iPad Air 3 will bring "4K" display with the screen resolution of 2,334 x 3,112 @ 401 PPI up from the current 1,536 x 2,048 @ 264 PPI. However, Here's another possibility. It could also match the iPad Pro's resolution of 2732 x 2048 @ 352 PPI.

    • Chip: A9 or A9X chipset. Most possibly A9X since A9 won't be better than the current A8X that's in the iPad Air 2. So, more than likely we'll get the A9X chip which is in the iPad Pro but slightly lower clocked.

    • RAM: I Think Apple will stick to 2GB RAM for the Air iPads for a while. But... It may well be a 3/4 GB too. iPad Pro has 4 GB and Price of RAM is quite cheap so why not.

    • Camera: So the iPad Air 2 basically got the camera of iPhone 5s. So It's possible that the iPad Air 3 will get the camera of the iPhone 6. 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2.1-megapixel front camera. This new camera will bring Focus Pixels technology, Auto image stabilization (but no Optical image stabilization), an improved ƒ/2.2 aperture, 1080p video at 60fps and Slo-mo video at 240fps etc. Or maybe Apple will keep them unchanged but I doubt it since they'll be updating the iPad Air 3 after two whole years.
    So based on these evidence we can say. Apple will definitely bring 3D Touch to next year's iPads.

    • Smart Keyboard & Apple Pencil: Smart Keyboard & Apple Pencil is a definite possibility. I don't see why Apple would restrict Smart Keyboard & Apple Pencil to only a very niche market of the iPad Pro when they can sell more accessories with the more popular iPad Air 3 and iPad Mini even.

    • Waterproof: Apple unofficially made iPhone 6s and 6s Plus water resistance. So, a water resistant iPad Air 3 is a definite possibility.

    • Other: iPad Air 3 could see further battery size reduction to make room for the 3D Touch hardware. This iPad could also bring the Taptic Engine to the iPad for 3D Touch feedback. And also iPad Air 3 will include faster 2nd gen Touch ID that's currently in the iPhone 6s.
  9. Mystro macrumors 6502


    Apr 16, 2011
    Thinness is crap. Nobody is asking for tablets to be any thinner. Samsung is learning this the hard way.
    The iPad is already too thin. Give me a iPad the thickness of the Pro and extend the battery life. Either way the next Air 3 will not be as powerful as the the iPad Pro. The power structure has forever change in the Apple family. The Pro will always reign as the top dog with the standard iPad is now demoted to a second tier status within the Apple tablet family.
  10. Nausicaa macrumors 6502a

    Jan 11, 2007
    I'm really enjoying the iPad Pro, but honestly I'm not convinced I'd stick with it if the Air 3 gets Pencil support and more RAM. Stereo speakers as well would help seal the deal as that's been an unexpected positive of the pro for me. I love the Pro, I love its features and the size of the display is awesome for viewing content, but overall I probably prefer the size of the Air I think. For this reason, I wonder whether Apple will actually add so much to the Air giving it parity with the Pro.

    That said, I haven't used multitasking features on an Air yet, and those really shine on the display of the Pro and I don't think I could go back to iOS where that experience wasn't as good.

    One other thing I would love is for updated hardware design like the iPhone 6s. I love the rounded edges and how it meets the glass.
  11. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    If it is still a 2x device with that, no. And if it is a 3x device, it's possible, but then there's nothing specifically holding it to any particular resolution if they are going the 6+ route of downscaling. You might as well just make it a 3x device with no downscaling at 3072x2304.

    Assuming they do change the screen resolution, A9X or even an A10 variant (if coming next October) are basically a given. The RAM will basically need a bump as well if you bump the resolution so that the GPU and UIKit have backing memory available for all these larger pixel buffers that are going to be kept around, plus split screen.

    I'm not entirely sure we can expect it within a year. Just like the sensing mechanism had to change to work on the iPhone versus a trackpad, they are going to have to do some more innovation to scale it up to the iPads. Along with the haptic feedback work you'd need. It is coming, but I wouldn't bet money on it being in the Air 3. Basically, when you are pushing a new display, higher power chip, and some form of the taptic engine, I suspect you are going to be having too many things at once demanding space or power from the battery to solve all those problems in one go.

    I'll bet on the Pencil, but not sure about the keyboard. They could do it, but it becomes a question on if Apple thinks that the Air and Pro should start moving towards being 10/13" versions of each other. I'd actually give this more of a coin flip. They may, they may not. They may wait until the model after the Air 3 to go ahead on the smart connector. I'd love to see what usage data they have around bluetooth keyboards on the Air. I suspect that's going to be the key factor on how quickly we see a keyboard cover.
  12. ApplePhy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2013
    Having used multitasking on the Air2, I can say it's just as fluid as on the pro.

    There are times where I'm using the Pro, and I find myself missing the size of the Air2. I use the iPad mainly by holding the device, only to put it down to construct longer emails. Otherwise, my preferred method of using it is by holding the device with 2 hands.

    If the Air3 gets an A9x, 3D Touch, more RAM, then I also have to consider returning my pro. Just not enough differentiation between it and the Pro to justify the price (for me).

    In the end, I doubt apple will bring the Air line up to par with the Pro line. Apple loves to offer exclusive features on its more expensive and higher end models. I think the Mini2 was an anomaly (I believe the specs were the same between it and the Air line at the time), and was cannabilizing Air sales. This was quickly fixed with the Mini3, and now mini4.
  13. ApplePhy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2013
    I would love future iPads to be thinner, actually (in theory). Because these devices are meant to be used while holding the device for long periods, the thickness of the device directly correlates with usability.

    I remember just how much of a difference the reduction in thickness felt when I first held my Air2. It was almost unbelievably thin, and it allowed me to use the device for longer periods of time.

    Practically speaking, you're right. If they make it too thin, then batter life suffers.

    Hopefully as ARM processors get more powerful and more efficient, they can continue the legendary 10hr battery life of all iPads, while reducing the weight and thickness of the chassis.
  14. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    I'm going to need Apple to get serious about making this device thinner TBQH. the iPad Air 2 feels like a porker.
  15. bt311 macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2015
    Those who are against higher PPI check this out.



    Up to 600 PPI human eyes can tell the difference. 4K on a 10" device comes out about 440 PPI. Also, were people against it when Apple released the 5K iMac? After all 5K seemed unnecessary and excessive by the prevailing standard.
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    3840x2880.... I have my doubts to say the least....
  17. Mike B in ok macrumors member

    Mike B in ok

    Sep 15, 2015
    Higher RAM and higher resolution? I doubt it for both, I think the benefits to most users are doubtful.

    No opinion about the keyboard.

    I think 3D Touch is likely. One of the reasons I seldom use 3D Touch on my iPhone is that I can't use it on any other device, so just don't develop the habit of using it! Putting 3D Touch on the whole line will help train people to use it more, and make it a more desirable feature. Alternately, Apple might decide that 3D Touch was a failed experiment and just quietly move on from it!

    I personally think thinner is a waste of time, and actually undesirable, but Apple seems obsessed with it, so I think it is unfortunately likely.
  18. Wiesenlooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2010
    Stop saying "nobody" when all you mean is "I am not". I want my tablet to be thinner and lighter, why not?
  19. Mystro macrumors 6502


    Apr 16, 2011
    A thinner tablet would be more fragile and have less battery life.

    I am voicing about every Samsung tablet review over the last year. Longer battery life in exchange for slightly thicker tablet is always mentioned as a preferred priority over thinness.

    What advantage would a thinner tablet be in a real world application compared to how thin the current tablets are now??

  20. Wiesenlooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2010
    Making it lighter to hold. Because after all it's a -you know- tablet
  21. masotime macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    You cannot assume this is categorically true. Advancements in battery technology would allow for the same or even better battery life in a thinner profile. Advancements in material technology could lead to a substantially more sturdy frame without adding thickness. You can argue that a thinner tablet would have less battery life / even greater durability than it could have with the original thickness, but at some point you have diminishing returns as to the benefits.

    More to the point, the issue isn't having a thinner tablet, but a more ergonomic tablet that is easier to hold, to use, and to not accidentally trigger functions you didn't want to. If it is possible to achieve a substantially more ergonomic tablet without compromising battery life significantly, why not? And Apple has done it before, to ever greater profits....
  22. touchstoned macrumors regular


    Apr 4, 2015
    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Taptic engine is required for 3D touch, they work together for all the 3Dtouch gestures. If it gets one, it gets the other.

    Otherwise I pretty much agree w your analysis. I do think Apple might use an A10 or A10X processor for the Air 3.
  23. ApplePhy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2013

    People have to realize that the iPads are meant to be held.

    reducing the thickness and weight is not as important to a desktop (and to a lesser degree a laptop), but for in iPad this is essential.

    And you're right. Battery technology parallels hardware technology, allowing for the preservation of overall battery life.
  24. journeyy macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2013
    Agree, but it probably won't be advancements in battery technology (which is quite stagnant at the moment i think) that will allow for a thinner Air 3, but the more efficient A9/A10 processor.
  25. Wiesenlooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2010
    na, it will mostly be more efficient displays. Most of the battery is eaten up by the displays in all ios devices.

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