A claim of the next iPad Air coming in two varieties is particularly interesting. It doesn't seem to simply be a case of one model being Wi-Fi-only and the other offering cellular connectivity. There are actually four total models mentioned in the report, consisting of two pairs of Wi-Fi/cellular models.
Our immediate assumption is that Apple could offer two size options, which has precedent. There are already two iPad Pro size options (11 inches and 12.9 inches), while the MacBook Air laptop just got a 15-inch version to join the existing 13-inch edition. It's possible that other specs beyond size could differ between these two models too, like how the 12.9-inch iPad Pro features a mini-LED display not found on the 11-inch version.
Whatever happens, the new iPad Air is expected to offer a new chipset since the current 2022 model uses an aging Apple M1 chip. It's likely that the new silicon will end up being the current Apple M2 chip found in the latest iPad Pro, MacBook Air M2 and 13-inch MacBook Pro, or perhaps a future Apple M3 chip that we expect to see next year.
Other iPad upgrades
No other major changes are expected for the other iPads mentioned by the report. With both the iPad mini and basic iPad receiving big redesigns over the past couple of years, it's expected they'll get chipset upgrades and little else. The same's likely true for the next iPad Pro, except it will be joined by a new aluminum Magic Keyboard, according to both previous leaks and 9to5Mac's sources.
This year's final guaranteed Apple event took place last month, where we saw the iPhone 15 series and Apple Watch 9 for the first time. Apple sometimes hosts an October event, but this didn't happen last year, meaning it's uncertain whether we'll here anything about these new iPads officially in the remainder of 2023. According to the rumor, these new tablets could turn up at some point between now and June 2024, the presumed month of Apple's next WWDC event.