New iPad Air on the Way

In several reports this morning it is all but confirmed that Apple plans to release a new iPad Air. I have some predictions and concerns about this new iPad Air I would like to share with you today.

From all of the rumors I have read here are the two biggest selling features I can see coming.

iPad Pro Style Redesign

It seems to me that Apple is going away from the soap bar style of product design and is instead going back to the flat edged style of the iPhone 5 and current iPad Pros. If Apple does indeed make this change, it will be a great indicator of what to expect from the iPhone 12 later this year.

Personally, I think this is long overdue and a welcome change to the iPad lineup. This begs the question of whether or not the next iPad will also get a new diagnosis or if it will stay in the old style to make it as affordable as possible. My money is it will stay the same going forward for the time being.

FaceID

There have been consistent rumors and reports indicating that the iPad Air coming out this Fall will have FaceID with the new design. This makes sense seeing that it will be all but impossible to get a TouchID button to fit in the flat-edged design due to it not having a chin and forehead. 

I also think that the FaceID the iPad Air will get isn’t the latest version on the 2020 iPad Pros but instead the 2018 version, which is still great but also more cost effective. I might be wrong about this, but I think that if they skimp out on the latest FaceID for this cheaper model it can offer a fantastic compromise.

Now, there was a rumor saying that TouchID will move to the power button, but I see that innovation being saved for something like the next iPad Pro, or even iPhone. The iPad Air rarely has innovation or brand new features put into it. It’s basically a way for Apple to make a slightly less powerful iPad Pro costing about 50%-66% of the price.

My Concerns

Speaking of price, if Apple is indeed releasing a newly designed iPad Air I worry that it will not be in the price range it has been. The biggest question to determine the price point of the iPad Air is the size. According to the most recent reports the iPad Air will be 10.8 inches in screen size. With this it would mean not only new screens to be designed and manufactured, but also new Smart Keyboards and new cases Apple has to make. All of this has to included in the final cost of the machine, and with all these additions it might be difficult for Apple to justify it staying in the $500 price point. 

Alternatively, Apple could have the screen stay at 10.8 inches but have the bezel jut out a bit more than the Pro to have it fit inside an iPad Pro 11 inch chassis. If that happens, there is still the issue of new screens being made, but the body and accessories are already made and designed, allowing for the cost of manufacturing to decrease significantly.

I will be the fist to admit that I am not a product designer, nor am I an expert about these kinds of things. That being said, it seems evident that the fewer new things Apple has to make the cheaper the products are.

Conclusion

I have never been one to look at the iPad Air as an option for me, but I can *absolutely* see it as a more affordable option for people looking to use the iPad for work and schooling. It is a great machine that allows for more powerful apps to run like butter. 

If I am being honest, it could absolutely be a main computing device for *most* people. If I were in a pinch and couldn’t justify the money I spend on the iPad Pro, I would absolutely be drooling over this new iPad coming out this year.

I hope to see this iPad release sooner rather than later, mainly because I feel that the iPad Air doesn’t need to be on the stage floor for the Fall Apple event. I also think the sooner Apple releases these the better for students who are either waiting to start school or are currently online, but intend to go back to school in the winter. The iPad Air could be a hell of a seller for that community if they get it right.

What do you think about the new iPad? Do you think it will have features I didn’t mention? Leave a comment and let me know.


This post was first shared on Tablet Habit, the quintessential iPad Newsletter. If you want more posts like this delivered right to your inbox sign up today.

Jeff Perry @JeffPerry