iPad Air 4 could ship at the same time as iPhone 12

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iPad Air 4 launches later this month.
The iPad Air 4 offers a big speed boost over its predecessor.
Photo: Apple

Apple showed off its iPad Air 4 at last month’s “Time Flies” event. One thing it didn’t reveal at the time? A precise shipping date for the next-gen tablet, the first new Apple device to feature the 5nm A14 processor. Instead, Apple simply said it would arrive in “October.”

According to tipster Jon Prosser, Apple could make the iPad Air 4 available for shipping at the same time as the iPhone 12.

“It seems like Apple doesn’t want the A14 in iPad Air to make it into people’s hands before iPhone 12,” Prosser tweeted. “Looks like they’re going to be doing pre-orders and shipping iPad Air at the same time as iPhone 12.”

Previous rumors have suggested that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available for preorder on October 16/17. They will then go on sale on October 23/24. If Prosser is accurate, that could be when the new iPad Air is made available for sale as well.

In previous years, Apple’s new A-series processor typically debuts on the iPhone, before making its way to iPad. This year, the order was reversed. Due to coronavirus, Apple had to delay the unveiling of its iPhones from their usual September spot to October. That meant announcing the A14 for iPad before the new iPhones, Apple’s flagship products. While the iPad Air 4 is not yet out, an early Geekbench 5 benchmark suggests that it is nearly 50% faster than its predecessor.

It remains to be seen whether Apple will mention the iPad Air during Tuesday’s “Hi, Speed” keynote or whether the preorder date will simply show up on the website or a press release. Today’s event is likely to deal with the iPhone 12, a new HomePod mini, and a new wireless charger.