iPad Air 4 looks set to get this feature before any other Apple device

We’re expecting the new iPad Air 4 to drop this year and it is looking like it could be getting some innovative changes. A new leak has emerged that suggests we’ll be getting some of the best features from the iPad Pro as well as a security feature that will come to this iPad Air before any other Apple device.

We crowned the iPad Air 3 our best tablet this year. The 2019 update to the Air line offered an excellent all-round tablet experience with a great display and fantastic performance, making it the best choice for most buyers in the market for a new tablet or iPad. The Air 3 also featured support for Apple’s Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil, making it a versatile choice for those who wish to expand beyond the tablet’s touch navigation.

The mid-range Air line sits above the iPad Mini and the regular iPad and below the iPad Pro in Apple’s line up, making it a cheaper alternative to the top-of-the-line Pro with few compromises in line with its price tag.

Of course, with any new Apple product comes a wave of rumours and the iPad Air 4 is no exception. We’ve gone ahead and sorted through all of the latest leaks and predictions to keep you in the know when it comes to the iPad Air 4, iPad Air 2020 or, more than likely, just the iPad Air. The latest rumours include a third-quarter release, perhaps even ahead of the highly anticipated iPhone 12.

Read on for all you need to know about the iPad Air 4, including news, rumours and leaks for the new tablet. Make sure to bookmark this page too as we’ll be updating it regularly as we get closer to the tablet’s launch.

iPad Air 4 could look like the iPad Pro and bring back Touch ID

A new leak has revealed a ton of exciting details about the upcoming iPad Air 4, showing off some nice touches and a feature that the Air might be getting ahead of iPhone and, even, the iPad Pro.

The leak was posted on Twitter via DuanRui and shows off a leaflet detailing the new iPad Air:

As you can see from the images, iPad Air 4 looks set to adopt the iPad Pro 2020 design – ridding itself of the Touch ID-sporting Menu button and those chunky bezels. However, the leaflet also indicates Touch ID is sticking around. Ahead of any other Apple device, it is looking like the new iPad Air will get a power button with integrated Touch ID. The Touch ID feature will be in place of Face ID, which won’t be included on the new tablet. The move is an exciting one for those looking to an iPhone future that could eventually drop the notch.

Will the iPad Air switch to USB-C?

The recent leak from DuanRui also indicates the new iPad Air 4 will feature USB-C rather than the Lightning port – replicating the move recently made by iPad Pro.

Along with USB-C, the new iPad Air looks set to have a smart connector on the rear, for accessories like a smart keyboard and more.

When is the iPad Air 4 coming out?

For the majority of Apple products it’s fairly easy to guess when to expect the next model. We know, for instance, that we’ll likely get the iPhone 12 in September; while iOS 14 will get its big reveal in June at WWDC. Guessing the release schedule for iPads is a little trickier.

The current-gen iPad Air 2019 was released more than a year ago, in March 2019. Instead of following that up with the iPad Air 4 in March 2020, Apple announced the high-end iPad Pro 2020.

Ultimately, we’re expecting the new tablet some time towards the end of this year, but that is far from certain.

China Times believes the next iPad Air will head into mass production in the third quarter of 2020, which means we could, if all goes to plan, see a release around the same time as the next iPhones in September. Of course, this has been a year quite unlike any other and everything is subject to change – even more so than normal.

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac) has also claimed Apple will be releasing a new 10.8-inch iPad towards the latter part of 2020, however it is not known whether he is referring to the iPad Air 4 or simply a refresh of Apple’s budget iPad.

According to a recent tweet by Jon Prosser, Apple is set to unveil a new iPad in the week commencing September 7. It isn’t yet clear which version of the iPad this will be – if any – but a September release would fall in line with the third quarter prediction mentioned earlier. This means we could see the next iPad Air ahead of the iPhone 12 launch.

Another leakers was quick to dispute this idea. Tipster Komiya took to Twitter just one day later to claim that the iPad Air will launch next March, placing the iPad Air quite a bit behind other predictions, though still in line with the Air 3’s release.

Apple iPad Air vs iPad Pro

What about other specs and features?

iOS 14 will likely get its reveal at WWDC in June and then see a public release sometime in September. That is if previous years are anything to go by. If the reports about a possible late Q3/Q4 launch are to be believed then we’ll most likely see this new iPad Air 4 ship with iOS 14 preinstalled.

In terms of chipset and camera, it’s still hard to say. The current iPad Air packs the very capable A12 chipset, whereas the latest iPad Pro 2020 is powered by the A12Z. If Apple does indeed take a lot of inspiration from the older first-gen 11-inch iPad Pro then there’s every chance we could see the A12X chip used. A boost from the 3GB RAM in the iPad Air 3 would be welcome, perhaps to the 4GB you’ll find in the 2018 Pro.

Apple added a LiDAR sensor to the 2020 iPad Pro for improved 3D sensing and better AR support, however this doesn’t seem like something that would be added to the Air.

How much will the iPad Air 4 cost?

Until the iPad 4 is properly announced, we won’t know how much it costs. However, we can make some guesses based off existing models’ prices.

Currently, the iPad Air costs £479/$499 for the 64GB model and £629/$649 for 256GB. There’s also an LTE model available for £120/$129 more. The cheapest iPad Pro (11-inch, 128GB) costs £769/$799. Sticking around the £500/$500 mark seems smart and we doubt it’ll cost much more than that, unless the base storage is bumped to 128GB. This should remain Apple’s mid-range tablet and the price will likely reflect that.

According to the leak by Komiya, the iPad Air could cost somewhere in the $649 range. This would be quite a bit higher than the cost of the last version of the tablet, so we hope this number is for 256GB device and not the base model.

As with any rumour or leak, it’s best to take it with a hefty pinch of salt until it’s official. We’ll be updating this page with more information as, and when, we get it. 

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