Apple’s reportedly working on a new iPad Air and there are some steps prospective buyers should take ahead of the iPad Air 6’s release date.
iPad Air 6 rumors hint at a spec bump which means we may see a fairly modest upgrade. Possible changes include a new processor, new colors and other design tweaks.
We don’t have a launch date yet, but there’s a good chance the iPad Air 6 arrives in one of three windows: this fall, next spring, or next fall. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes the iPad Air 6’s release arrival might fall in the first window.
However, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said new iPad models are unlikely to launch in 2023 which puts that timing in doubt.
We expect rumors to pinpoint the iPad Air 6 release date in the weeks ahead, but until then, those interested in a new iPad Air are flying blind.
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If you’re interested in buying a new iPad Air model, here are some things you should keep in mind as the year goes on. These tips will help you prepare for the device’s inevitable arrival.
Follow iPad Air 6 Rumors
One of the most important things you should do as a prospective iPad Air 6 buyer is follow the latest rumors.
We haven’t seen a ton of information emerge yet, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is the only big name source talking about the iPad Air 6 right now, but that should change in the weeks ahead.
Apple will do its best to clamp down on leaks, but they’re inevitable and they’ll wind up leaving very little to the imagination. And that’s why it’s important to follow along.
You’ll learn more about the iPad Air 6’s potential hardware specs, software features, and release date and you’ll also set proper expectations for yourself. In other words, they’ll help you decide if the device is worth the wait.
Get Familiar with iPadOS
If you currently own an iPad running a really old version of iPadOS or if you own a tablet that falls outside of Apple’s ecosystem, and you really want to replace it with an iPad, you’ll want to get familiar with the latest versions of iPadOS.
The current version of iPadOS is iPadOS 16. If you own a newer iPad model, you’ve probably upgraded to the software and you can safely skip this step.
If you aren’t using iPadOS 16 right now, you’ll want to use this time to go hands-on and get comfortable with the software. It’s not for everyone.
If the iPad Air 6 release date lands in the fall or the spring of 2024, the device will run Apple’s iPadOS 17 operating system out of the box.
iPadOS 17 is officially out and you’ll want to go hands-on with the software. This is especially important if you’re considering a move from Windows or Android to iPadOS.
Figure Out Your Storage Needs
You should use this time to figure out how much storage you might need on a new iPad Air.
As of right now, we don’t know what kind of iPad Air 6 storage options Apple will offer, but they could certainly mirror the iPad Air 5’s.
If that’s the case, you’ll have two options to choose from: 64GB or 256GB. For some people, 64GB will be plenty, but many others will enjoy the peace of mind that comes with the extra storage.
Picking the right storage capacity will also help you save money and avoid headaches. So dig into your habits and look at how much storage you use on your current tablet and draw some conclusions before the iPad Air 6 release date arrives.
Look at Other iPads
Before you decide to wait for the iPad Air 6, make sure you go hands-on with Apple’s current iPad lineup. And that should start with the current iPad, the iPad Air 5.
From there, we recommend taking a look at Apple’s flagship 2022 iPad Pro models, powered by the company’s M2 chip. You’ll also want to investigate Apple’s latest iPad mini and its 10th-gen iPad and see if either of those suite your needs.
Research iPad Air Alternatives
If you aren’t completely sold on buying a new iPad, you’ll also want to take a look at the top iPad Air alternatives that fall outside of Apple’s ecosystem. Here are a few we recommend:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S8/S8+/S8 Ultra
- Amazon Fire HD 10
- Microsoft Surface Pro 9
- Lenovo Yoga Tab
- Google Pixel Tablet
Go hands-on with these devices, and any others that catch your eye, in the buildup to the iPad Air 6’s arrival. Who knows, you might find a device you really like.
Make a Plan for Your Current Tablet
If you’re intent on upgrading, make sure you have a plan for your current tablet.
Some of you might know of a friend or relative who could benefit from your current slate. Ask around and see if anyone might need a hand-me-down. You might also look into donating your tablet to charity.
If you plan on selling your current tablet to help offset the cost of the iPad Air 6, you’ll want to track prices at popular resellers so you can get the most money back.
You’ll also want to keep your current tablet in good condition because that’s how you’ll get the most money from a reseller, your carrier, or Apple when trade-ins for the iPad Air 6 arrive.
There’s no doubt the iPad Air 6 will come with 5G connectivity. Having cellular data could be useful if you plan to get work done on your device outside of the house.
If you plan to buy an iPad Air 6 with cellular data, and you’re unhappy with your current provider’s coverage or plan, use this time to dig into competitors and see if you can find a better fit.
Wait for Performance Upgrades
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, a reliable source when it comes to unannounced Apple products, the iPad Air line will get a boost to its specifications down the road.
Unfortunately, Gurman didn't go into detail about what we can expect to see on the iPad Air 6, but there are a few safe bets.
First and foremost, you can expect a new processor. A likely candidate is Apple's in-house M2 chip. The current model, the iPad Air 5, boasts Apple's M1 processor. If it launches in 2024, it could gain Apple's newer M3 chip.
A processor bump should help in key areas like battery life, overall speed/multitasking, and gaming. So if you aren't thrilled with the current model, you might want to wait.
We could also see Apple improve the iPad Air's modem for enhanced connectivity, make improvements to the speakers, add Thunderbolt support to bring it in line with the iPad Pro, and maybe even tweaks to the device's Touch ID system.
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