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

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Apr 12, 2001
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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
 

joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
6,321
7,376
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. :)
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.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
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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 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.
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.
 

joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
6,321
7,376
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.
I've never noticed any sluggishness using splitscreen on my Mini 4...
 

sanke1

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2010
1,067
434
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.
That attitude would have kept us on 512 MB RAM forever.
 

sunapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2013
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2,970
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.
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,018
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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.
 

npmacuser5

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2015
1,247
1,285
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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