New mid-range device replaces the iPad Air 2, killing hope of a successor
iPad has finally released a successor to the iPad Air 2... sort of. In an unexpected move, the company has removed the iPad Air 2 from its online storefront, replacing it with a brand new 9.7in tablet known simply as "the iPad".
This is sad news for die-hard devotees of Apple's previous mid-range model. Though its death has been long rumoured, the iPad Air 2 is now officially dead, and the Air 3 little more than vaporware. Instead, it's been replaced by an entry-level, middle-of-the-road iPad designed to sit between the Pro and Mini ranges.
While the device is all-new, there's nothing here we haven't seen before - hence why Apple didn't bother launching it with its usual special event. The only real upgrades are a move from Apple's A8X processor to the newer A9 chip, and a slight bump in screen brightness.
Anyone expecting a proper successor to the iPad Air 3 will be disappointed, particularly as the new tablet is actually 1.4mm thicker and 32g heavier than the iPad Air 2 was. It's a negligible increase, but it's not really a true heir to the razor-thin iPads of old.
Elsewhere, the specs are pretty much the same; it's still a 9.7in Retina display with a 2048 x 1536 resolution, it's still got TouchID and a lightning connector, and Apple still boasts "all-day battery life".
The main headline change, of course, is the price. The new iPad starts at £339 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only model, rising to £469 for the LTE-enabled version. This is in comparison to the iPad Air 2, which launched for £399. Available in gold, silver and space grey, the new iPad will be available to order from 24 March.