Apple reportedly launching iPad Pro instead of Air 3; Apple Pencil, Smart Connector

iPadProLast year, Apple went ahead and launched the iPad Pro and the iPad mini 4, but kept the curtain over what many believed would be an iPad Air 3 for a future event.

Up until just recently, that big reveal date was said to be sometime in March, alongside the “iPhone 5se,” and more bands for the Apple Watch. A sale date of March 18 has even been bandied about. However, according to a new report from 9to5Mac, Apple doesn’t actually plan on launching an iPad Air 3 in March.

Instead, the company plans on unveiling a “9.7-inch iPad Pro.” The information was gleaned from unnamed sources, and indicates that Apple wants to follow the same route it has for its laptop lineup, suggesting that the iPad Pro will simply be available in a 9.7- and 12.9-inch variant, like the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro family.

The report goes on to say that Apple plans on unveiling the 9.7-inch iPad Pro at the March 15 event, and reaffirms that it could start shipping as soon as March 18. As far as features go, the sources suggest it will bring with it all of the features from the larger variant, including the A9X chip under the hood, four speakers, and upgrades to RAM as well.

Support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Connector is also tipped to be included. That includes support for a smaller Smart Keyboard as well, to better match the smaller frame of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. It’s possible that it’s ready for a March debut, but the report doesn’t seem confident in this aspect.


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