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iPad Air 4 release date is imminent — here's the proof

iPad Air 4
(Image credit: Apple)

At last month’s “Time Flies” event, the 2020 iPad, Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch SE were introduced and then went on sale almost immediately. A brand new iPad Air was also revealed, but the company wouldn’t commit to a release date, saying only that the thin tablet would emerge at some point in October.

A third of the way through October, and there’s still no sign of the iPad Air 4, but it looks like we won’t have to wait too much longer. First, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman tweeted that “shipments of new devices have started landing at Apple stores for opening at a later date.” He added that this felt “too early for the iPhones,” meaning it’s probably the new iPad Air. 

Then another leaker, Jon Prosser, revealed that Apple will give us the release date of the iPad Air at the iPhone 12 event on Tuesday. 

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That seems sensible to us. Why wouldn’t Apple take the opportunity to remind an audience already excited about the iPhone 12 that its most recent tablet also makes an excellent companion? 

Both leakers stopped short of revealing the actual release date, but it wouldn’t be wholly surprising if Apple decided to make the iPad Air available immediately after the event — especially if there’s a slight delay on iPhone 12 availability. In any case, there’s only three weeks left in the original launch window, so buyers won’t have long to wait.

We already know how the new iPad Air improves on its predecessors. Firstly, it has received something of a makeover, looking more like the iPad Pro in design than before with an edge-to-edge display. The home button is gone, but Touch ID isn’t — just relocated to the power button. It supports Magic Keyboard and the second-generation Apple Pencil for doodling and note taking.

Of course it wouldn’t be an iPad upgrade without a bump in specs, and the new model is getting Apple’s latest A14 Bionic chip. Apple promised a 40% performance bump over the previous version, and leaked benchmarks suggest that, if anything, the company was being a bit modest on that score.

The new iPad Air will come in 64GB and 256GB flavors, costing $599 and $749 for Wi-Fi-only models, or $729 and $879 for versions with built-in cellular connectivity. Stay tuned for a full review from us soon.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.