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


macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
Central U.S.
I'm much more likely to buy one if they add Apple Pencil support. I don't need four speakers. The iPad Air 2 vibrates enough just from the current two. It doesn't often bother me, and I often use headphones, but just imagine four speakers! I hope they are able to address that problem first. Second of all, speakers take up a lot of internal space, so I hope this doesn't impact battery life.

They're going to have to do more than just extra speakers and an LED flash. Those seem gimmicky to me. They should also put the new, faster Touch ID in it. I'm used to my 6s now, so I often take my finger off too early on my iPad Air 2. But again, that's a small, gimmicky thing in the scheme of things. Or perhaps that new accessory/keyboard port connector thing. Or faster charging since it takes a while. I mean, MAYBE a lot of gimmicks equals a solid update, but just those two things won't make it happen for me and most people I know. But it will make the Air 2 cheaper, and I know a few people who are looking to upgrade that I would definitely recommend a cheap Air 2 to. The Air 2 is still blazing fast.

My main thing is that the iPad Air 2 is already really great. I just want to do more productive things on it, like drawing. I've been disappointed with the bluetooth stylus on the market. I'd also like for it to support more accessories, or have a better file system for moving things from external drives. I know they want to rely on the cloud for all that stuff. But seriously, professionals need to download 50MP RAW files. That's not going to easily happen over the cloud any time soon. I'm not sure if physical connections will ever go away entirely—mostly because at the same technology pace, they always outperform the fastest wireless by several orders of magnitude. That might change someday with quantum communications but I doubt it will be anytime soon.

Or maybe I'll just wait for the iPad Pro 2. Or 3? My Air 2 is great. Just want to draw.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2009
I have the Pro and I can tell you that the 4 speakers changes the experience, especially when I use it with my Slingbox. I would be surprised if they add Pencil support, but if they do, that would be a great unit. I sold my iPad Air and love the Pro.


macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2010
I probably won't replace my iPad Air 2 for another 2 years. Don't really see myself using the pencil (I owned a Note 2, 3 and 4 and rarely used it), the speed difference is not worth it, led would only be useful as a flashlight, slow 3D Touch support from developers and the 4 speakers is not required.
Just another revision and nothing new to see. Even a resolution bump and Amoled display would not tempt me. iPads in all honesty are getting stale. If Apple would slap in a full version of OS X and make it turn into a full blown computer when paired up with a keyboard and mouse I may be interested. But Apples greed won't allow them or the price would be $1000 plus.
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macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2015
At this point, four speakers is the only remaining feature that would get me to upgrade my current iPad.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2015
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?
There's a chip that scans the screen at twice the rate of a normal iPad for precise Pencil measurement


macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
Los Angeles
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.
Same here re: Pencil Support... I wonder if they could do a Force/3D Touch Bezel only. It could potentially replace the home button and add a few more button features without having to cover the entire face of the device.
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macrumors 601
Mar 16, 2012
Manchester, UK
Ah, so people holding up their iPads to take pictures with their crappy camera can turn on a tiny, useless LED light, too?
Rare camera is not used to take pics only. Besides, people have complained for the lack of it, people will complain for it being added! I think someone will find it useful, it takes minimum space and consumes minimum battery. I personally would find the pencil less useful, good thing is, it would be optional.


macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
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
Just give it 4GB of RAM and the iPad Pro CPU, and give to the Pro the extra features.
They're not going to make it so much like the Pro. People here keep crying out for more RAM as well, but Apple only just brought all it's iPhone and iPad product lines up to 2GB as of last fall, so given that iOS 10 will need to be able to run on 1GB devices, and that I don't see 2GB as being limiting on the Air 2, Mini 4, or 6s, I don't see them increasing RAM yet.
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macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2009
Ah, so people holding up their iPads to take pictures with their crappy camera can turn on a tiny, useless LED light, too?
iPad isn't designed for you or me. It's designed for everyone. It's a multi-tool. To be used in caves, in hospitals, schools, on the couch. Eventually, they'll be shoving 100000000 sensors into it to make it the ultimate general purpose large screen computing device & companion (same with your phone, and watch at their respective form factors). It's a lot cheaper for them to have 1-design with all these features that fits tons of use cases, than give you a custom SKU of iPad with no LED flash because you don't use it.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2004
England, UK, Europe
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.
Saying a flash is a negative for you, but then saying you have no interest in it = a contradiction.
How can something you have no interest in be something that takes away from the product for you?


macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2011
So excited about this news, finally!

I still cannot understand how is possible that the iPad mini sells more than the iPad air... maybe because iPad air users are so happy that they keep it for a long time and do not change it that often?

I mean it is the perfect size to read magazines, it is great to take notes on pdfs, watch movies, and as second screen attached to a rMB with an app such as "duet". With the apple pencil and proper speakers it would be a killer - I would drop my iPad air for this new model immediately...
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macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
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?
Yes, the iPad pro touchscreen dynamically increases refresh rate when the pencil is near it.
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