Mac Otakara – who received the following information from a Chinese supplier – says that the 5th generation iPad Air will be based on the same chassis as the 3rd generation iPad Pro 11-inch.
According to the report, the iPad Air 5 will feature the same 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display and Touch ID sensor on its side as its predecessor, the iPad Air 4, so this doesn’t mean the Air will be getting a larger screen or that the button under the display will make a comeback.
However, the tablet could see a jump in its photo-snapping capabilities from the Air 4’s single 12-megapixel wide angle lens to a dual layout consisting of a wide angle lens and an ultra-wide angle lens.
The Air 5 will apparently be powered by the A15 Bionic chip expected to debut in the iPhone 13. CNBeta (via MacRumors) recently reported that Apple has ramped up its purchase of the chip to 100 million – 25% more than the number of A14 chips it bought for the iPhone 12 when the phone launched in 2020.
The Air is also expected to pack a four-speaker audio set-up and the cellular version could see an upgrade to 5G mmWave this time around.
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Lastly, the iPad Air might also feature a LiDAR scanner, though Mac Otakara seems less certain about this addition. The LiDAR scanner is a 3D sensor that first made an appearance on the iPad Pro 2020. Apple uses LiDAR to create more realistic AR experiences and to improve its cameras’ autofocus in low-light conditions.
However, some of these details contradict reports we’ve heard earlier this year.
In March, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that the Air will see an OLED upgrade this time around. An OLED display could offer improved contrast and potentially extend the tablet’s battery life, so we’ve got our fingers crossed that this Air 5 rumour will ring true.
It seems we’ll have to wait until 2022 to find out what the next iPad Air 5 will look like.