Home Computing Apple’s Upcoming 12.9-Inch iPad Air Is Rumored to Have a Pro-Level Screen

Apple’s Upcoming 12.9-Inch iPad Air Is Rumored to Have a Pro-Level Screen

Apple’s about to grow the iPad Air line, according to a new report, which says new iterations of the tablet will include a 12.9-inch model. Until now, that size has only been offered in the iPad Pro line.

Ross Young, a longtime supply-chain analyst, posted to subscribers on X on Thursday that he’d heard Apple was preparing a new 12.9-inch iPad Air, and that it would use “left over panels” from the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple markets those screens as “Liquid Retina XDR,” a similar name to the $4,999 Pro Display XDR, featuring mini-LED technology that provides better contrast than the iPad’s more standard LCD display. The post was written about earlier by 9To5Mac.

Watch this: New iPads in 2024: What We Expect (OLED, M3 and Beyond)

Apple representatives didn’t respond to a request for comment.

While the report about mini-LED screens in iPad Air is notable, it comes amid increasing chatter in the Apple rumor-verse about upcoming iPad updates likely to arrive next month. Every iPad line is expected to receive an update this year, which isn’t an annual event, unlike the company’s iPhone updates every fall. 

Read more: iPad 2024 Rumors: New iPad Pro and Air Models Arriving in Early May

One of the headline updates is likely to include improvements to the iPad Pro, which starts at $799 for an 11-inch display and $1,099 for a 12-inch display. Apple is reportedly planning to upgrade from its current screen technology to OLED-based screens, which are known for being power-efficient while also allowing for deeper blacks and brighter colors. The iPad Air would then naturally use the well-regarded mini-LED technology for its 12.9-inch lineup, though hopefully still at a lower price than the equivalent iPad Pro.

Later this year, Apple is still expected to release new iPhones as well. The new devices, likely called the iPhone 16, are rumored to reduce bezel borders and expand screen sizes for the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max. Meanwhile, the entry-level iPhones, which typically start at $799, will reportedly gain last year’s well-received action button instead of a mute switch.

Read more: iPhone 16: All the Major Rumors on Apple’s Next iPhone

Between the expected iPad launch in May, and iPhone launch in September, Apple is also expected to introduce significant software improvements for those devices this summer. The latest software versions are likely to be called iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 when they’re announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference this June. 

The upgraded software will reportedly include new AI features to compete against the growing popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini. (For hands-on CNET reviews of generative AI products, including Gemini, Claude, ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot, along with AI news, tips and explainers, see our new AI Atlas project.)

Read more: iPhone AI Evolution: What the Rumors Say About iOS 18



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