Leaked illustrations could show off the design of the next Apple iPad Air

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Yesterday we told you that Apple had filed with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) information pertaining to seven different variants of an upcoming new iPad model. Usually, there are a few weeks lag between the time that a device is filed with the regulatory commission and the actual release of the product. Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International says that Apple will announce a 10.8-inch iPad Air this year, possibly at the same time that the new 5G iPhone 12 units are unveiled.

Leaked pamphlet said to be for the iPad Air 4, shows an iPad Pro design language for the cheaper tablet

Today, a Twitter user by the name of DuanRui (@duanrui1205) disseminated a tweet that contained a pamphlet showing instructions in Spanish supposedly for the iPad Air 4. Similar to the premium iPad Pro, the illustrations on the pamphlet show a screen with thinner bezels than the ones on the iPad Air 3. It also shows that the device is equipped with a Type-C charging port instead of Apple’s proprietary Lightning charging system. That also is a feature found on the iPad Pro.

Not every feature on the iPad Pro shows up on the iPad Air 4, based on this leak. There is no Face ID and while there had been speculation about an in-display fingerprint scanner, it would seem that Touch ID will be located in the power button. Apple is reportedly working on a similar iteration of Touch ID for next year’s rumored iPhone SE Plus. That rumor comes from Ming-Chi Kuo which does give the rumor more than the usual modicum of believability.

The iPad Air line lies somewhere in between the regular iPad and the iPad Pro. Moving the Touch ID button will allow Apple to reduce the size of the bezels giving the tablet a more modern and premium look. The most recent iPad Air model, the third-generation version, starts at $499 for the 64GB Wi-Fi only variant. While we could see an upcoming fourth-generation iPad Air powered by the 5nm A14 Bionic chip, it is more likely that a variant of last year’s A13 Bionic will be used in order to keep costs down.

According to Canalys, the iPad continued to have the leading market share in the tablet market during the second quarter. The iPad has been in that position since the very first one was introduced on January 27th, 2010. From April through June this year, Apple shipped 14.2 million iPads up 19.8% year-over-year. That gave Apple a healthy 38% share of the industry down from the 40% share it had during last year’s second quarter. The tech giant delivered more than twice the number of tablets that Samsung shipped in the quarter (7,024,000, good for 18.7% of the tablet market) and more than the next two manufactures combined. Huawei was third during the three-months having delivered 4,770,000 units during the three months.

The tablet market got a shot in the arm from the pandemic as parents purchased the product for their kids to watch streaming content, learn home-schooling lessons, stay in touch with friends, and more. At the same time, those working from home were using their tablets as an additional work tool. During the second quarter, 37.5 million tablets were shipped globally compared with the 29.8 million that were delivered during the same period last year. That is a 26.1% improvement on an annual basis. Lenovo had the largest increase in tablet shipments during the quarter with a gain of nearly 53% followed by 45% for Huawei.

As for Apple’s next iPad, there is no guarantee that the pamphlet showing the improvements in the iPad Air 4 is legitimate. But if the company can bring some of the design language from its high-priced iPad Pro to the cheaper iPad Air series, Apple might be able to expand its dominance in the tablet market.

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