New rumor repeats claim that Apple won't include 'iPad Air 3' in fall lineup

Posted:
in iPad edited August 2015
Questionable assertions continue to claim that there will be no new "iPad Air 3" this fall, only a faster "iPad mini 4," due to Apple's alleged newfound conservativeness about tablets.




The updated iPad mini is effectively ready to go, and Apple's supply chain is already preparing components, industry sources told Taiwan's DigiTimes. Even that tablet is expected to be a modest upgrade over the iPad mini 3, however, which itself added only Touch ID and a gold color option to the second-generation iPad mini.

Another Taiwanese publication, the Economic Daily News, made virtually identical claims in July, but further suggested that the "iPad mini 4" would be the last-ever version of the diminutive tablet. It argued that there would be no "iPad Air 3" this year in order to focus on the 12.9-inch "iPad Pro", and to alleviate pressure on Foxconn, Apple's main manufacturing partner.

Both DigiTimes and the Economic Daily News have a mixed record with Apple hardware predictions. Other rumors have been contradictory, hinting that an "iPad Air 3" is still coming later this year.

The tablet market has softened considerably in the past couple of years. The iPad still remains the most popular individual brand worldwide, but Apple has seen sales of the device decline consistently for several quarters.

Much of this has been blamed on the growing popularity of smartphones over 5 inches, such as Apple's own iPhone 6 Plus, which is big enough to fulfill many of the same purposes as a tablet. Tablet upgrade cycles are also believed to be slower than those of smartphones, more akin to PCs that last 5 years or more.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 74
    Well, at least there's quality competition in the Surface tablets, if Apple's just going to let the lineup stagnate. The logic of "oh the upgrade cycle" is bogus; people don't buy Macs every two years but Apple does both yearly and in some cases twice a year upgrades with them.
  • Reply 2 of 74
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,743member
    sog35 wrote: »
    I have no problem with this.

    The tablet is obviously a 3-5 year upgrade device.  No sense wasting money making upgrades to the models every year.  Its obvious that people won't upgrade iPads every year or even every 3 years even with big updates. So why spend money updating every year?

    I would like Apple to do this:

    2015
    -No iPadAir refresh
    -iPadMini refresh
    -iPad Plus

    2016 
    -iPadAir refresh
    -No iPadMini refresh

    2017
    -No iPadAir refresh
    -iPad Plus refresh
    -discontinue Mini

    So basically they will update the Plus and regular iPad every other year.  Then no update for Mini in 2016, and no mini after 2016.

    What will this do?

    1. increase margins.  Getting rid of the extremely low margin Mini.
    2. Cut costs of updated multiple iPads every year.  
    3. Stop the canibalization of the regular iPad from the Mini.  
    4. Ability to sell the same model of iPad for 2 years at the same price. The Air2 will still start at $499 till next Oct.

    I don't agree with this. For what I do, a new tablet every year is a very good thing, as long as the performance is significantly better. The only one I didn't get, for several reasons, was the iPad 4.

    Evidence is that Apple has been selling as many, or more, Minis as full size models. I don't see how they could get rid of them, if that remains even close to being true.

    And not upgrading the Air would be just stupid. How many buying an Air would buy the Pro instead? Not only would that be much bigger and heavier, but also much more expensive, around what the Surface Pro goes for. It's not a substitute for many people who want the, I suppose we should call it, midsize tablet.

    People would wait until the new model comes out, reducing yearly sales further. I just don't see that idea as being viable. Apple has to cater to people using tablets for more than just web browsing, book reading and e-mail.
  • Reply 3 of 74
    One problem with this rumor. The source.
  • Reply 4 of 74

    I don't get the ambivalence about iPads .... I love mine and use it all the time. It's not necessarily a laptop replacement, but it sure does the vast majority of things I would have previously turned to a laptop or desktop. And in a good portion of those, the iPad is more fun and easier to do it on.

     

    I will say, however, that you have to have a case that allows for angled typing ... that makes it WAY more productive when you are filling out forms or doing work stuff. When I am just reading or goofing around, I pull it out of my Apple case to make it lighter.

     

    fyi: I have a 6+ and the watch ... I think the iPad fits in well within the system.

  • Reply 5 of 74
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,899member

    That would be a bummer. I was looking forward to finally upgrading my iPad2 this go-around.

  • Reply 6 of 74
    Tablets are not a 3 to 5 year upgrade device. That is laughable.
    Apple will continue one year releases.
    iOS 9 alone is a reason for a new iPad.
  • Reply 7 of 74
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    I have no problem with this.

     

    The tablet is obviously a 3-5 year upgrade device.  No sense wasting money making upgrades to the models every year.  Its obvious that people won't upgrade iPads every year or even every 3 years even with big updates. So why spend money updating every year?

     

     


    MacBooks and iMacs are 3-5 year machines too yet they update them every year.

  • Reply 8 of 74
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Ah, DigitTimes.

    (But sometimes there's a kernel of truth behind a false rumor: it wouldn't surprise me if some of the newly-announced models SHIP later than others. Maybe the Pro and Mini could ship first, say, and Air 3 after 60 days or something. Especially if Force Touch or something complicates manufacturing. Although I have my doubts about Force Touch being possible at large sizes; I'd love to be wrong!)

    I don't think there's any lack of enthusiasm about iPads. I look around me and people have the all over, love them, and use them daily for a wide range of stuff. I know several people who have 99% replaced their Mac or PC with an iPad.

    But this enthusiasm has an element that hurts sales: people hang on to them for a long time! If replacement cycles are slow, it's still a success, it just will not end up a smash like the iPhone (nothing ever will).
  • Reply 9 of 74
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,366member

    Apple recognizes that an individual's personal mix of devices means a wide range of options, all of which are up to date and that maximize the ability to use services across the spectrum. They add services over time as the processing power and battery upgrades allow. I think this deep product integration and development is the best thing about Apple's vision.

     

    I've chosen a mix of devices that suit my very personal needs. I don't like doing "work" on the iPad, but it is perfect for consuming content. I like my MacBook air for mobile "work". I have a 27" iMac that admittedly is a bit dated - and I'll replace it with a MacMini and thunderbolt display when it goes. I've found I enjoy my Apple Watch's fitness thingie more than I anticipated; and it helped me skip the iPhone 6 cycle, as I got Apple Pay compatible with my iPhone 5s. Oh, and my oldish AppleTV works just fine to put movies and TV onto my HDTV.

     

    Yes, that's a metric craptonne of devices, and the total cost was not insignificant. But they make me productive and I enjoy them all. Can't tell you how often I yell at the windoze box I am forced to use at my (government) workplace. Not a day goes by where I don't say "if I had my mac, I'd be done."

     

    I'm getting what I pay for with Apple. Value received.

  • Reply 10 of 74
    I am ready to upgrade my iPad Air 1. Especially because of iOS 9. Don't want the pro, too big. Don't want a year old tablet (Air 2). Nuff said.
  • Reply 11 of 74
    schlackschlack Posts: 696member
    Hope they update it. I'm ready for an upgrade from my iPad Air.

    What makes me upgrade is the number of product revisions. I don't want to be more than 2 revisions removed from the latest. Even less if there is a specific feature I would benefit from significantly.

    Not doing updates every year would lengthen my upgrade cycle, because it's not based on years but on number of revisions.
  • Reply 12 of 74
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I'm very skeptical about this rumor. But if it turns out to be true then we know Tim Cook's comments on iPad over the last few investor conference calls has all been BS and Apple too is bearish on the category. As others have said people don't replace their Macs every year yet Apple still releases new models.
  • Reply 13 of 74
    prolineproline Posts: 193member

    This advice is solid gold. What better way to deal with declining interest and competition from larger phones than to stop innovating the iPad for a year and allow it's hardware and features to fall well behind larger phones? Brilliant. 

  • Reply 14 of 74
    Agree with so much here.

    The iPad is a long upgrade cycle device - that is a GOOD thing as it suggests people are happy with what they purchased. If I were Apple, I would rather have customers who are satisfied rather than customer who feel their newish devices were obsoleted.

    In the long run, sales are less relevant than usage and satisfaction. I believe that iPads continue to have disproportionately high usage figures (relative to their ownership rates).

    Annual upgrades are fine; as others have pointed out, the Mac is a long upgrade-cycle device but it gets updated frequently. Even if people buy iPads infrequently, it is in the interest of Apple to issue improvements whenever it is reasonable to improve satisfaction (within limits, of course).

    For more, see: http://q10a1.blogspot.com/2015/04/tablet-doom-and-gloom.html
  • Reply 15 of 74
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rare comment View Post



    Annual upgrades are fine; as others have pointed out, the Mac is a long upgrade-cycle device but it gets updated frequently. Even if people buy iPads infrequently, it is in the interest of Apple to issue improvements whenever it is reasonable to improve satisfaction (within limits, of course).

     

    It is not like they have to retool the entire assembly line to add a new A9 and some more Ram. If sales are stagnant then adjust the output, but I can't see why they would discontinue the best model. The mini is a little on the small side and a theoretical Pro is too big for many people. I have a mini 2 and an iPad 3.

  • Reply 16 of 74
    Perhaps they are confusing form factor upgrade with internals upgrade. It will likely be the same device except for A9X. The mini form factor will change to thinner, lighter, and better display.
  • Reply 17 of 74
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    This rumor is questionable at best. Why let the competition catch up?
  • Reply 18 of 74
    19831983 Posts: 1,183member
    This iPad/Mac upgrade cycle comparison. I don't think is appropriate. Because...from what I understand while Mac sales continue to be strong and grow, iPad sales are shrinking considerably. So I'd imagine from Apple's point of view there's less of a business case for annual iPad upgrades as there is for the Mac ones.
  • Reply 19 of 74

    Was forced to buy an iPad for my 7th grade son as a school requirement. I went with the Air 2 due to the announcement of iOS 9 split screen requirements starting with Air 2. I explained to my son to enjoy having the top-of-the-line model now, because in a month or two, the Air 3 will be out and his new shiny gold Air 2 will be slightly outdated. So I for one would LOVE not having the Air 3 announced this fall! 

     

    I know sog35 think's he Mr. Know-it-all, but I don't see the iPad mini ever going away, since it's the #1 selling iPad. 

  • Reply 20 of 74
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mike1 View Post

     

    That would be a bummer. I was looking forward to finally upgrading my iPad2 this go-around.


     

    I upgraded to the iPad Air 2 (from an iPad 3) nearly a year ago, and the performance upgrade felt like several orders of magnitude (I use mine professionally, not as a mere consumption device).  From what I've seen of iPad2s, the improvement would be even more dramatic.

     

    What more are you waiting for, feature-wise?

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