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

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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
  2. dvkid macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2006
    If they add support for the Pencil, that would sell it for me.

    Force Touch hasn't been a cornerstone feature for me personally, and I can see there being some challenged implementing it on a bigger screen.
  3. Delorean2006 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2012
    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
  4. BMcCoy macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2010
    the controlled leak rumours are really starting to come fast and thick..!
  5. gpat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    Just give it 4GB of RAM and the iPad Pro CPU, and give to the Pro the extra features.
  6. Sbishop84 macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2015
    They defo need to add support for the Apple Pencil and Id love to see Force Touch included aswell.
  7. Mascots macrumors 68000


    Sep 5, 2009
    If they waste the effort to put a flash into this thing just to encourage the positive feedback loop that is People Taking Photos with iPads, I'm going to walk out of the room.
  8. Deuce on the Clock macrumors regular

    Deuce on the Clock

    Jan 9, 2016
    My own universe
    Thin, always thin
  9. 0003462 Suspended

    Dec 17, 2013
    The camera is also an input method. Scanning barcodes, documents and credit cards in lowlight environments will be easier with a flash.
  10. Bazooka-joe macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2012
    Swindon, England
    Yep the pencil and 3d touch will be enough for me top upgrade from my Air 2. Led flash would be a complete waste of time
  11. jcmeyer5 macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2008
    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.
  12. RebornProphet Suspended

    Nov 3, 2013
    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.
  13. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Bye bye extra battery space for speaker air cavities like iPad Pro?
  14. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    My iPad Air's are going to be worth even less. :(
  15. Kar98 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2007
    Ah, so people holding up their iPads to take pictures with their crappy camera can turn on a tiny, useless LED light, too?
  16. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    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?
  17. Mascots macrumors 68000


    Sep 5, 2009
    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.
  18. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
  19. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    Meh, the real question is whether the Air 3 will get Pencil support or not - it's pretty much the only real feature upgrade to make this shine.
  20. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2013
    Adding pencil support and four speakers would be a good reason/excuse for them not to make it thinner for Air 3 version, but would be thinner on Air 4.
  21. SpamJunkie macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2003
    Yup, the iPad Pro has a built-in digitizer dedicated to the Pencil. The Air 3 would need that as well.
  22. sunapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    The iPad Air 3 ("The New iPad Air"?) will not become as powerful as the iPad Pro, not now and not for 499.
  23. RebornProphet Suspended

    Nov 3, 2013
    You wouldn't believe the amount of tourists walking around Pompeii snapping away with iPads when I was there last year. Mental.
  24. VforVelveta macrumors regular


    Nov 16, 2006
    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.
  25. BWhaler, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016

    BWhaler macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    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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169 January 25, 2016