Apple is reportedly eyeing an early 2022 release for the fifth-generation iPad Air, with some attractive upgrades such as 5G support and faster silicon at its heart. As per a report from Japanese blog Macotakara that cites reliable sources, the iPad Air 5 might arrive alongside the iPhone SE refresh in spring 2022.
Let’s start with the unsurprisingly disappointing part first. The iPad Air 5 is said to carry the same design as its predecessor that hit the shelves late in 2020. It arrived with an iPad Pro-esque design makeover back then. And given Apple’s love for using the same fundamental design for at least a couple of generations, an unchanged aesthetic profile for the upcoming iPad Air 5 is not at all shocking. But hey, at least buyers won’t be limited to boring shades like gray or silver, if the previous iPad Air is anything to go by. However, it’s unclear if Apple is adding any shades to the mix this year.
Now, let’s talk about meaningful upgrades. The first one is support for 5G, which was also predictable. Apple gave the same cellular connectivity boost to the iPad Mini 6 a few months ago, preceded by a similar treatment meted out to the iPad Pro. Another key change is new and improved silicon. The fifth-generation iPad Air will reportedly come armed with the A15 Bionic system on a chip, the same silicon that also powers the iPad Mini 6 and the iPhone 13 series.
And lastly, but most importantly, the front camera is touted to get some serious upgrade as well. Apple has reportedly locked in a 12-megapixel front camera for the iPad Air 5, up from the 7-megapixel selfie snapper on its predecessor. But it’s not just the megapixel count that is increasing. With the new camera sensor, Apple is also bringing support for its Center Stage technology. For the unaware, it automatically adjusts the field of view and framing during video calls, following users as they move and keeping them at the center of attention. There’s no word on the asking price, though.
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