In addition to a new iPad Pro lineup, there’s also a new iPad Air on the way this year. In fact, this could be the biggest update to the iPad Air lineup ever, with Apple planning a big-screen model for the very first time.

Here are four things to expect from the new iPad Air lineup…

New iPad Air form factor

Apple overhauled the iPad Air in 2020 to give it a 10.9-inch display and a flat-edged design similar to the iPad Pro. This year, Apple is planning to retain that same design language, but also expand the design to a new form factor.

According to multiple reports, including Bloomberg, Apple will introduce a new 12.9-inch iPad Air model this year. This will mark the first time that the iPad Air is available in two display sizes, modeling the same bifurcation as the iPad Pro lineup. The 12.9-inch iPad Air will use the same LCD screen technology as the 10.9-inch model.

Bigger camera bump

According to leaked schematics out of Apple’s supply chain, the new iPad Air models will feature a redesigned camera bump. Currently, the iPad Air features a single, circular camera cutout on the back.

The new camera bump will purportedly feature a vertically-oriented design, reminiscent of iPhone camera designs from a few years ago, such as the iPhone X. The camera and the flash are both housed in the same camera bump, increasing the size of the protrusion. Currently, the iPad Air does not feature camera flash.

As of right now, there’s no word on why Apple is planning to make this change beyond adding a camera flash. It could mean that Apple has other new camera features that necessitate the new design.

You can see all the photos of the alleged design on 91mobiles website.

No new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Air

While Apple is rumored to be planning a new Magic Keyboard with a more laptop-style aluminum design for the iPad Pro, the iPad Air will miss out on this change.

As reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the new Magic Keyboard will be exclusive to the iPad Pro lineup. The iPad Air lineup – including both the 10.9-inch and 12.9-inch models – will work with the current Magic Keyboard. This is essentially Apple’s way of giving users another reason to opt for the more expensive iPad Pro.

Gurman reported in December:

The new Magic Keyboard provides another differentiator for the iPad Pro. Apple isn’t planning a new version of that accessory for the iPad Air. The new 12.9-inch model will stick to using the current Magic Keyboard for that screen size. So if you want to get the best keyboard, you have another reason to spring for the Pro.

Landscape front-facing camera

The new iPad Air will reportedly feature a long overdue design change. Apple is expected to reposition the front-facing FaceTime camera from the top bezel to the landscape side for the first time. This matches a design change that Apple made to the iPad 10 in 2022.

This means that when the iPad Air is held in landscape mode – or used with the Magic Keyboard – the front camera is properly aligned at the top of the device.

Wrap up: New iPad Air features

The new iPad Air models are expected to be released within the next several weeks. In addition to these changes, the new iPad Air will also feature upgraded performance, likely in the form of the M2 or M3 chip. We might also see Apple introduce some new color options.

Are you planning to buy a new iPad in 2024? Are you considering the iPad Air or the iPad Pro? Let us know down in the comments.

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