Apple announces iPad Air

Apple announces iPad Air

Apple has announced the iPad Air. As expected, the iPad 5 features a design similar to the iPad mini, with a bezel 43% thinner than the iPad 4. Apple says that the new iPad is 20% thinner than the iPad 4 at 7.5mm thin, as well as lighter, at 1 lbs, compared to the iPad 4's 1.4 lbs. The iPad Air is powered by the A7 chip, though it does not appear to support Touch ID. The M7 coprocessor is included. Apple says that graphics on the iPad Air features graphics 72x faster than the original iPad. The iPad Air also supports MIMO.

The iPad Air has a 5MP iSight camera that shoots 1080p HD video. The new FaceTime HD camera has larger pixels, and the screen features improved backside illumination. There are dual microphones for better audio quality. The 10-hour battery life that the iPad is known for is remains. The iPad Air will be available in Silver and Space Gray, with the Wi-Fi models starting at $499, and Wi-Fi + cellular starting at $629.

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Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Apple announces iPad Air

53 Comments

I really had hoped touch ID would be a given. I'm guessing the supply constraints were to blame? I'm thinking I'll hold on to my iPad 3 for one more year

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Yeah, why is Apple still in business? Every product they release is epic fail. How’s your Android tablet doing by the way? Great, I’ll bet. <eye rolling sarcasm>

Could I ask why you feel the need to comment on a company you don’t do business with, and none of whose products you own? Are you insecure in your choice (Nexus 7) and need to convince yourself you made the right decision?

You’re right, of course. I’m a flawed human being who just snaps sometimes in the face of abject stupidity. I’ll try to do better. :-)

Yeah i've gotten confused by many of the prices. I thought they'd gotten totally rid of the 13 non retina macbook pro for all retina mbp thus essentially raising the price. Same for ipad. i thought they added a retina and raised the price $100. Still some pricey devices but yeah i think i was a bit confused.

I dont like the "Air" moniker. At this point (5th gen) it just doesnt make sense... Unless they plan to release a thicker/bigger model in the future?

Seems like they already do have a thicker one on the market... the 2. (not sure why they stuck with the 2 in that category - seems odd)

I'll get one because I didn't upgrade my 3 to the 4, but would have liked to see touch id and the same camera as the iPhone 5s.

I hope Apple never puts good cameras in the iPads. There are already too many people out there looking like knobs while taking pics with their giant iPads.

1 pound is very light for a tablet that size. I have a feeling it's going to be a lot more impressive in person than on paper.

I'd prefer more battery to lighter weight, but that's just my personal opinion based on my needs.

come on ipad 2 STILL 399, people you have to admit that is a rip off, its like 2 and half year old hardware and they are still charging the same. the profit margin must be off the books for the ipad 2. why would you not just get the mini 2 which is superior in every single way for the same price. i just cant believe its still 399. literally am just scratching my head, everything else was ok but the ipad 2, i feel sorry for anyone that picks that up for 399 i really do

Plus, iOS 7 runs horribly on the ancient iPad 2. On the plus side, the resale market for iPad 2's will remain strong for a while, might be time to unload mine while it's still worth something.

thats what baffles me the most, ios 7 isnt the smoothest on the the a5 so not its imo already outdated and you can almost guarantee that when ios 8 comes out next year it will be worse. just look at the iphone 4, ios 7 is teriible so the ipad 2 isnt even future proof yet its 399. your right the resale value will be good and also the ipad 4 should go for a great price. will be selling my brothers ipad 4 which should get a nice price and get the mini 2. shouldnt have to cough off much if any at all. im literally vexed that the ipad 2 is still 399. the 2nd tier model to the ipad air is literally 3 genrations behind and is only 100 dollars cheaper

While I wouldn't purchase an iPad 2 at this point ( I don't buy old technology when newer tech is available), I disagree completely with your assessment that IOS 7.0.3 runs poorly on the iPad 2. I have it loaded on 4 iPad 2 tablets in my office. Every one works faster and with fewer stutters than with the previous IOS.

Complete, utter nonsense. iOS 7 runs like a champ on my iPad 2. I don't know what alternate universe you whine in but get real please.

My apologies. I didn't realize your single experience outweighs my own in addition to the countless other users who have taken to the interwebz to vent their frustration.

Again with the baloney. You can Google just about anything and get millions of "hits" , usually negative because that's how the Internet works. Naysayers and malcontents run off at the mouth a lot more. And yes, my experience outweighs your nonsense. If iOS 7 runs smoothly on my iPad 2 that means it can run smoothly on other iPad 2's too, yours included. That could mean you just have no clue how to properly install and configure iOS 7. And your posting history seems to confirm that. Apology accepted. Now go troll somewhere else.

I bet iOS 4 ran great on your iPhone 3G too, right? I guess the greater point here is why would Apple continue selling 3 year old hardware. They must figure that people will buy this, but for $100 more who wouldn't get an iPad Air?

PS sorry I got your panties in a twist.

Then don’t make blanket statements about iOS 7 running “horribly” on the iPad 2 when you have nothing but search hits (which are meaningless) to back it up.

My iPad 2 runs fine with iOS 7 as well. That's not to say that I'm not interested in moving to an iPad Air, but just because a vocal minority complains about something doesn't mean it represents the consensus view for all iPad 2 owners either.

forget if it runs well or not, the price of 399 for nearly 3 year old hardware is ridiculous, the spec of the the ipad 2 isnt future proofed in anyway to be worth 399 especially when you can buy the much superior mini 2 in every way with the latest 2013 spec for the same price.

thats another confusing aspect of keeping the ipad 2 and 4s around, they still have the old 30 pin, you would think apple would want to eradicate the 30pin asap i mean lol they get rid of ther 4th gen,3rd gen ipad but keep the 2nd gen, its just messed up the ipad 2 at 399. dont think i have been so annoyed over the price of a device but the ipad 2 still at 399 nearly 2 and a half year later with very close to obsolete spec with no future proofing spec is pi**ing me off lol

I agree that the $399 price is way too high for old tech but they do want to maintain the stratified price structure. They can't drop it below the old iPad Mini at $299 and there is probably a psychological barrier crossed by dropping it below the iPad Mini at all since it is supposed to be "better". $329-$349 seems like a good compromise price that would have been easier to stomach (but I still wouldn't buy one at this point)

I wonder if they are keeping a couple of 30-pin devices around so keep from pi$$ing off all the customers and manufacturers who are highly invested in the old connector. I wouldn't be surprised if the 30-pin devices all disappeared next year.

Then everyone will whine and complain about that ;-P

They have to get rid of them next year and I'm surprised they didn't this year. The 4S will be replaced by the 5C and I'm thinking the iPad 2 will be replaced by the 4. It would have made sense if they gave the iPad 2 and 4S the Lighting port.

changing to the lightning port on the iPad 2 isn't as simple a unplugging the 30-pin connector and plugging in the lightning port. It would involve redesigning the entire circuit board, rewriting the instruction set on the chip and retooling the factories that turn out the iPads. At that point, you have the iPad 4!! Changing the iPad 2 will never happen.

It would be wasted effort and money for Apple and all their suppliers.

You can always buy an adapter on Amazon for as little as $8 for a Chinese knock-off that only charges or $30 for the Apple adaptor that does everything.

I'll probably get the mini because the wifey wants it but there's no way I would get the ipad Air. I'll wait until it has the fingerprint sensor and 2GB of RAM, I want more future proofing, three to four year product cycle.

I think I can wait a year to get Touch ID on my next iPad... really surprised this was not included, and now that I have it on my 5S it's annoying typing my code on my iPad 3

Looks fantastic. Looking forward to the small and lighter design. Disappointed at the demise of the leather Smart Cover. I don't want the bulk of a case and really loved my red leather Smart Cover.

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Prediction: The iPad Air is a glimpse at how the iPhone 6 will look. The iPad Air is beautiful and enough different in looks from the iPhone 5 and 5S that they can claim a change in the look of the iPhone. Also, the iPad Air and iPad Mini now look like each other (except for size). It just makes sense to me that the iPhone, iPad Mini, and iPad Air look the same, just different sizes.

That's a good point and I agree. One thing I do hope for when it comes to the iPhone 6 - bigger screen.