Apple might unveil Pencil-ready iPad Air 3 in March

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The iPad Air will reportedly be updated in March.
Photo: Apple

It appears we won’t have to wait much longer to see what the next-generation iPad Air will look like.

Apple plans to unveil the iPad Air 3 at a special event in March, according to a new report, which claims new Apple Watch hardware will also get some stage time during the keynote.

An updated iPad Air could help turn around slumping sales of Apple’s tablet line, which plummeted another 25 percent last quarter. The iPad Air didn’t get an update when Apple unveiled the giant-size iPad Pro and iPad mini 4 last fall, so the mid-range tablet is definitely due for a spec boost.

The new iPad hardware will likely be on display at an event in mid-March, according to 9to5Mac. The keynote date is supposedly set for the week of March 14th, but that could change depending on circumstances.

One of the iPad Air 3’s biggest new features could be a Pencil-ready display, allowing owners to use the pressure-sensitive stylus that debuted with the iPad Pro. Other features may include four-speaker audio, an A9X processor, a rear flash and improved cameras.

A 4-inch iPhone, reportedly called the “iPhone 5se,” will likely debut at the event as well, bringing a speedy processor and Apple Pay compatibility to the smaller smartphone.

The new line of Apple Watch units should also be at the keynote. The wearable update is said to include multiple new color options for the bands, as well as a new line of bands composed of a completely new material than previous Apple options.

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  • Lucus Bendzsa

    Keep my iPad Pro features away. A device that costs $950 shouldn’t be outdated by a cheap iPad.

  • PTVMan

    It’s one thing to be pencil-ready and another to actually have pens in stock :-)

  • http://thetechpeak.com/ The Tech Peak

    Hi Buster,

    Great article! Here’s to hoping they figure out a better way to charge the Pencil, instead of sticking it in your iPad’s lightning port. Now with the rumored integration of the Pencil in the iPad Air 3, I’m wondering more and more what the purpose of the iPad Pro is. Thanks Buster! Keep up the great work.

  • bdkennedy11

    I’m saying no pencil.

  • xxFoxtail

    I’d be upset to see the Air 3 get Pencil support at a $500~ price range. Probably would have just got that instead of the Pro.

    Then again, the bigger screen is helping a lot with drawing and multitasking.

  • Jeff

    Apple Pencil support for iPads across the line is inevitable, and if 3D touch isn’t yet ready for tablet- sized screens, it makes sense that Apple would implement it with their new iPad. The Apple Pencil is a $100 accessory. Why wouldn’t they want to sell more of them? I want 3D Touch + Pencil support, but we’re only likely to get one – most likely the latter.

  • Richard Ludwig

    I’m not saying it won’t happen, but that would leave the Mini 4 as the odd man out as far as Pencil support, which would be weird.

  • Cryptoeconomist

    I don’t like the lack of friction between Apple pencil and the screen. It is slippery. Doesn’t feel like using a pencil on paper at all. Microsoft pen gives much more pleasant friction. Hope Apple can improve its pencil.