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Apple iPad Air 6 rumors: Expected release date and what we want to see
The iPad Air series is one of the most popular tablets offered by Apple, offering some of the best specs outside of the iPad Pro. The iPad Air 5 launched in March of 2022, making it over a year old. How much longer will it be until we see the iPad Air 6? Join us as we take a closer look at the iPad Air 6 release date, price, specs, and even our own wishes for Apple’s next iPad Air.
Apple iPad Air 6: At a glance
- When might it come out? The iPad Air 6 should come out in Late October 2023 or March 2024. These release windows are both strong candidates based on the Air's launch history.
- What new features could it have? Expect an improved SoC at minimum. You can also likely expect improvements to the display, camera, and more.
- How much might it cost? The iPad Air 6 price will likely start at $599 at the cheapest, though as much as $699 is possible.
Will there be an Apple iPad Air 6?
Unless Apple suddenly retires the Air product line (again!), we will eventually see an iPad Air (6th generation). What’s less clear is when. The iPad Air originally launched in 2013 and saw its first successor a year later. Then, the iPad Air series was pushed into the background and left for dead until years later with the launch of the iPad Air 3rd gen.
Since then, we’ve had two other iPad Air models. The Air 4 was released less than a year after the iPad Air 3, while the iPad Air 5 arrived 18 months later. It’s hard to say exactly when it might be released, but an iPad Air 2024 is certainly a possibility.
What might the iPad Air 6 release date be?
- iPad Air 3: March 18, 2019
- iPad Air 4: October 23, 2020
- iPad Air 5: March 18, 2022
Apple’s quick turnaround between the Air 3 and Air 4 was a bit of a one-off situation, as the company modernized its tablet range, giving it a higher-end Bionic chip and a more refined design that ditched the old-school iPad button.
The iPad Air doesn’t need to be refreshed nearly as quickly as the iPhone series, as tablet owners tend to hang on to devices for years. That, and its inconsistent release cycle, make it hard to predict when it will be released.
If Apple is going to release the Air 6 this year, we’d say late October is likely for a few reasons:
- Both the Air 2 and Air 3 came out in late October, just a day apart
- Regardless of the release years, Apple’s pattern since the Air 2 has been October/March/October/March, and it seems wrong to break it now!
Of course, that’s all complete speculation. There haven’t been many solid rumors yet about the Air 6, which means Apple might be waiting a bit longer this time. Perhaps March 2024? For what it’s worth, the same situation also seems to apply to the iPad Mini 7. The odds are fairly good the two models might just launch at the same time. Too bad we don’t know when that is just yet.
For now, we’d say that if Apple targets 2023, it’ll happen this October or early November. Otherwise, a spring launch could be just as likely. We’ll be sure to update this section as we hear more rumors about the iPad Air 6 release date.
What specs and features could the iPad Air 6 have?
The iPad Air series is one of Apple’s most high-end tablet offerings. It tends to pack some of the very best specs imaginable, including a great SoC, killer display, support for Apple Pencil, and much more. For the iPad Air 6, we expect a similar story. That said, we actually know very little about the iPad Air 6 right now.
If it is indeed coming in 2023, we imagine this situation will change very quickly. Usually, the rumor mill starts churning hard in the last month or two before a possible device launch.
Apple’s last major design overhaul came to the iPad Air back in 2020. Since then, the design changes have been pretty subtle. Don’t expect much change here, although we could likely get a few distinct colors. After all, the Air 5 made some pretty big colorway changes, and previous models were pretty adventurous here, too.
Of course, there are things Apple could definitely improve, such as reducing the tablet’s bezels and changing up the awkward positioning found on the front camera. For now, there have been no rumors to indicate that is happening, however. It seems likely this will be more of a mild refresh in terms of design, at least.
Unless Apple really throws us for a loop, you can safely expect the iPad Air 6 will have an Apple M2 SoC. This will be a pretty solid upgrade from the M1 found in its predecessor.
Although an M3 processor would be awesome, that particular chip isn’t coming until 2024. It’s possible the Air 6 might not launch until 2024 as well, but it’s likely the M3 will be reserved for the Pro initially.
For what it is worth, at least one leaker has also suggested the M2 will power the Air 6. It’s unclear how trustworthy this leak is or if it’s also just based on speculation.
The iPad Air 6 should see an upgrade to Apple M2 SoC, a solid upgrade to an already great SoC found on its predecessor.
Unfortunately, leaks have been pretty few and far between regarding the rest of the specs. We imagine that RAM will remain at 8GB, as Apple tends to have better RAM management than Android. We’ve seen as high as 16GB of RAM on the latest iPad Pro, but there’s yet to be any whispers Apple plans to offer such a high amount of RAM on any of its standard iPad models.
As for storage? The iPad Air 5 only offered 64GB and 256GB models. It’s very possible Apple will keep just two configurations, though we’re holding out hope it’ll knock the base model up to 128GB and maybe even offer a third configuration with something in the 512GB to 1TB range.
Charging, camera, and pretty much every other hardware detail remain unknown. Going by past years, we imagine there will be at least a few improvements to the camera on the iPad Air 6, but again, we have no real evidence to back this up yet.
What could the iPad Air 6 price be?
- iPad Air 3: Starting at $499
- iPad Air 4: Starting at $599
- iPad Air 5: Starting at $599
The iPad Air went from $499 in 2019 to $599 just a year later. It’s stayed at that same price with the launch of the iPad Air 5 as well. While we’d love to say that makes a $599 price tag likely, inflation has recently been rearing its ugly head. Many tech companies have slowly raised prices, Apple included.
Apple could choose to keep its existing price point, though raising it to $649 or even $699 wouldn’t be all that shocking. This would be a bit easier to swallow if Apple at least jumped over to 128GB of storage for its base model. So, fingers crossed!
Should you wait for the iPad Air 6?
If you don’t need a new tablet right now and are sold on the Air family, we’d wait at least until late October. By then, we should know for sure if the iPad Air 6 is coming in 2023 or 2024, which will make it easier for you to figure out your next move. And if it does come this year, it could offer plenty of improvements with only a mild increase to the price tag.
If you’re looking for a new tablet right now and are absolutely sold on getting an iPad, the iPad Air 5 ($559 at Amazon) remains a great choice for many. What if you want more power? The simplest way to get it right now would be to upgrade to an iPad Pro ($786 at Amazon), which will bump you to the M2 and many other improvements. Of course, it’s also pretty pricey, starting at $799.99.
iPad Air 6: What we want to see
We still don’t know much about the iPad Air (6th generation), but that doesn’t stop us from hoping, wishing, and speculating. Here are a few things we’d love to see from the iPad Air 6 when it’s released.
A horizontal camera, just like the iPad
The 2021 iPad might be an entry device, but it has one thing very right: the front camera. Instead of sticking to a vertical alignment, there’s a landscape camera on the iPad.
In a post-pandemic world, video conferencing has become more important than ever. And let’s face it, vertical video doesn’t look very professional. It also feels a bit awkwardly placed for those who are already using their iPad as a pseudo-laptop, thanks to the Magic Keyboard.
Despite how obviously useful this change would be, the iPad Air 5 debuted in 2022 without adopting the same camera layout. While there haven’t been any rumors about it yet, we strongly hope the iPad Air 6 corrects this mistake.
Better storage configurations
64GB of storage in 2023 is absolutely dismal, especially since the OS takes over 10GB of space. What’s worse, 64GB has been way too little for years without Apple doing anything!
The iPad Air 5 offers just 64GB and 256GB options, but we’re hoping against hope that Apple finally moves on. We’d love to see the 64GB base model replaced with a 128GB variant. In addition to the 128GB and 256GB storage sizes, we’d also like to see something in the 512GB to 1TB range as well.
A better display with at least a 90Hz refresh rate
While the iPad Air 5 has a great display with plenty of brightness and solar colors, its low 60Hz refresh rate definitely holds it back. While we don’t think Apple would move up to 120Hz unless it has a massive change in store for the next Pro model, we do think a 90Hz panel would still be a nice upgrade.