iPad Air 3 Could Feature Four Speakers and Rear-Facing LED Flash

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Apr 12, 2001
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The next-generation iPad Air 3 could adopt the iPad Pro's four-speaker design and gain an LED flash next to the rear-facing camera, according to leaked design drawings shared with French website Nowhereelse.fr. The website cannot fully guarantee the veracity of the sketches, but the report does mention its source has been reliable on two out of three occasions in the past.


If the design drawings prove to be true, the iPad Air 3 would have two speakers on both the top and bottom of the tablet like the iPad Pro. The inclusion of rear-facing LED flash seems more trivial, since the iPad is not a camera device in the traditional sense, but some owners do use the tablet to take photos, and Apple may be looking for ways to combat declining iPad sales.

Apple is rumored to announce the iPad Air 3 at a March media event, possibly alongside a new 4-inch iPhone and Apple Watch updates. Little is known about the iPad Air 3, beyond a report saying it will lack 3D Touch, but plausible updates could include a faster A9 or A9X processor, Oxide TFT display, Smart Connector and improved cameras.

Oxide TFT display technology would allow for more uniform color and brightness, and improved contrast, on the iPad Air 3. The tablet could also adopt the iPad Pro's variable refresh rate technology to preserve power when static images are on the screen, enabling the iPad Air 3 to have longer battery life.

Apple has not updated its 9.7-inch tablet since releasing the iPad Air 2 in October 2014.

Article Link: iPad Air 3 Could Feature Four Speakers and Rear-Facing LED Flash
 
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Delorean2006

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2012
777
247
If they do indeed add two more speakers, A9X with the 4gb of ram, then to me it's seems like a good enough upgrade for me
 

gpat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
976
1,253
Italy
Just give it 4GB of RAM and the iPad Pro CPU, and give to the Pro the extra features.
 

jcmeyer5

macrumors 6502
Sep 7, 2008
414
309
Meh... I'd like to see an updated processor and RAM. Apple Pencil would be interesting, but not really a need for me. I like the 4 corner speakers though.

Flash is a negative for me... no interest in it.

I would like them to fix the Safari loading junk. Scrolling is junk as it is on my Air 2.
 

Liquinn

Suspended
Apr 10, 2011
3,016
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My Air 2 remains ridiculously smooth and fast, runs anything and everything available on the App Store at full pelt. I think I'll sit out the Air 3.

Not interested in drawing with a tablet so Pencil support is meaningless to me personally.
My iPad Air's are going to be worth even less. :(
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,833
4,582
Does Apple actually need to do anything to support the Pencil with the iPad Air other than update the software? I thought the Pencil just communicated using Bluetooth... is there any actual new hardware that an iPad would require to support it?
 

Mascots

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2009
1,610
1,307
The camera is also an input method. Scanning barcodes and credit cards in lowlight environments will be easier with a flash.
I can't even think of a time I've tried to use flash to take a close range photo without it whiting out the entire frame.
IMO that's too much of an exception for the R&D that goes into engineering a component like that into a tablet. The primary purpose would be to take higher quality photos of real scenes in low-light situations. Because people suck and are doing it anyway.
 

SpamJunkie

macrumors regular
Jun 3, 2003
165
45
Does Apple actually need to do anything to support the Pencil with the iPad Air other than update the software? I thought the Pencil just communicated using Bluetooth... is there any actual new hardware that an iPad would require to support it?
Yup, the iPad Pro has a built-in digitizer dedicated to the Pencil. The Air 3 would need that as well.
 

VforVelveta

macrumors regular
Nov 16, 2006
227
45
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Based on the Anandtech review, seems like the A9 is efficient enough to cut out some battery for the speakers and keep 10 hour battery life. Also, with the lower resolution screen I'd guess it would get an A9 rather than an A9X, which would in turn provide some differentiation between the two.

It all sounds good to me. Add in Pencil support and I will buy this day 1.
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,015
3,326
My wish list, in order of importance,

1. 3D touch
2. Suport for Apple Pencil
3. Four speakers
4. More memory — at least 3gb
5. Faster at same battery life
6. Better cameras
7. Faster touch-id

The more Apple hits of that list, the more likely I will be to upgrade. Honestly 1-3 would probably be enough—the rest are nice to have.

But as I hope Apple is finally coming to understand, what's holding back sales in the iPad—and the watch, cloud services etc.—and is a mid-term threat to the business, is the software.

Hardware got Apple to its place of dominance, but it will not keep it there.
 
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