It's been the hot topic for over a year, with fans of iPad clamouring for news about the latest and greatest addition to the popular iPad Air range. But as rumoured dates have come, gone and faded into history with no sign of release, where oh where is the much anticipated iPad Air 3, and if it comes to fruition, what can we expect?
The big date
Pundits had tipped the Air 3 would follow Apple's trend of releasing its new iPads annually in the Australian Spring. Previous years saw the initial Air released in mid October 2013, the Air 2 hit the market in October 2014 and fans keenly awaited the arrival of the Air 3 in October 2015, but to no avail.
Instead the thunder was stolen by the release of another iPad - the iPad Pro, leaving optimistic experts to ponder whether Apple would split its tablet updates into two yearly events and hold the Air 3 off until October 2016. The more pessimistic pontificated that perhaps there would be no Air 3 at all and the whiz bang iPad Pro was now the only, albeit rather talented, kid on the block.
Then there was the hope that Apple might tie in an Air 3 release with its annual developer's conference. While this is a software focussed event, Apple has released hardware in the past and it could have slotted in nicely with upgrades to the IOS9 operating system. But the WWDC came and went in mid June with no sign or comment about the iPad Air 3.
News in late June that US retailers were dropping the price of the Air 2 sparked renewed rumours a release was imminent, but experts like macworld.co.uk note these non Apple retailer discounts might just be because of the newer iPad Pro or because the iPad Air 2 is now over two years old. They also note Apple doesn't discount their range prior to new releases but rather they stop production and wait for supply to diminish before unleashing their new model on the market.
iPad Air 3
Whether you're awaiting the iPad Air 3, embracing the Pro or utilising the good old Air 2, we provide tablet stands to assist in ensuring your iPad meets your professional needs.
Apple has done little to quell any date speculation, neither confirming the demise of the Air nor scheduling a release date. So still the market waits and the experts speculate. Will this year be the year? Is there an iPad Air 3 at all, and if so what will it be like?
Here are some theories on the latter.
Keyboard Connection - The 9.7 inch and 12.9 inch iPad Pros boast a new Smart Connector on the left hand side that allows for easy connection of a Smart Keyboard and it's likely the iPad Air 3 would boast the same. If included, it would allow the keyboard to draw on the iPad's battery rather than its own.
Flash - Apple is backing the popularity of the iPad as a camera and has included a flash on its rear facing camera on the iPad Pro 9.7 inch, and rumour is the new Air would too. Also included would be the Retina Flash feature on the front facing camera.
Pencil - The Apple Pencil is considered one of the best styluses on the market and the introduction of the Apple Pencil to the iPad range on the iPad Pro 12.9 inch leads many to believe the new Air could also support this popular feature.
Bigger battery - The iPad Pro has come out ahead of the game offering a larger battery with longer life, and it's hoped the Air would do the same, meaning this little puppy will pack more power but require fewer visits to the power point.
Processor speed - New IOS9 software allows for the multitasking many have been crying out for in iPads, but the challenge will be the processing speed this requires. Each instalment of the Air has offered greater speed, and the Air 3 processor is expected to be the A9 version or A9X version offered in the iPad Pro 9.7 inch and 12.9 inch models.
Screen resolution - There's been much discussion over whether the screen resolution of the iPad Air will be improved in newer models, with Apple indicating the current density of pixels per inch is more than adequate for a tablet held at the distance generally required of an iPad. The new iPad Pro has upped the pixel density but many believe it’s unlikely the Air 3 would want to show up its more expensive predecessor. If the pixel density were increased it would result in a sharper on-screen image.
Even slimmer - When it came to the thin design of the iPad Air 2, Apple blew the market away and it's unlikely this already slim little number will lose any more girth. Experts reflect if it did, customers might be concerned about the durability, and really how thin is thin enough?
Anti reflective coating - Apple's put it out there, so it might be likely the new iPad Air 3 will boast anti-reflective screen coatings.
Will Apple improve the Air 3 or keep those changes for the iPad Pro 9.7"?
The lookCase - The big tip for the Air 3 is a new 7000 series aluminium case, like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Although this wasn't featured on the top of the range Pros, it might just make an appearance in the Air 3.
Colours - We're not likely to see the bold and bright colours associated with the iPhone 5c, instead the colour range will likely be similar to the 9.7inch Pro including Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold.
But all this is just conjecture. As yet there's no release date or indication of when or if the new Air will be forthcoming, so we took it to the real expert...Siri. Her answer? "I can't answer that...but apple.com should be able to". Umm no...