Report: iPad Air 3 will be branded iPad Pro

Apple’s next-generation 9.7-inch tablet will carry the iPad Pro branding, rather than iPad Air 3, according to reports on Thursday.

9to5Mac sources say the company plans to have two size options available for the premium range, with the new model joining the 12.9-inch device released late last year.

Recent speculation had already suggested the firm will include many of the features associated with the larger slate, so this wouldn’t constitute too much of a shock.

The new tablet is expected to carry speakers at both ends of the device, just like the iPad Pro, while also featuring a Smart Connector to enable connection of the Apple Smart Keyboard accessory.

Now, the report says, Apple will release a smaller version of the keyboard cover for the new model, which is expected to launch at an event on March 15.

Likewise, the device is also likely include the display technology to support the Apple Pencil, just like the iPad Pro.

See also: iPad Pro – 6 reasons you’ll want one

What this would mean for the future of the iPad Air line remains to be seen. It’ll also be interesting to see if the new 9.7-inch tablet is priced closer to the iPad Pro than the iPad Air 2 models.

Apple is expected to release the new iPad, as long as the new 4-inch iPhone 5se handset almost immediately following the event.

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Reports say the pair, as well as new Apple Watch band choices, will go on sale as soon as Friday March 18.