iPad Air 2024 may get this design upgrade — but bigger size was just shot down

iPad Air 5
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you were hoping for any major design changes on the iPad Air 2024, then you should brace yourself for disappointment. A new leak from ShrimpApplePro over on Twitter/X claims that the only meaningful design change will be the position of the front-facing camera. The rest will look more or less the same as before.

Interestingly, ShrimpApplePro also dampened our hopes that we may see a larger iPad Air model this year. They claim that only a single model has been seen so far, and that one has a 10.9-inch display. This doesn’t mean we won’t see a larger 12.9-inch iPad Air in the future, but it does make the prospect seem a little less likely.

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At least moving the front camera to a landscape format is a little more natural. Or, it is if you use an iPad as either a laptop alternative or a media device. In instances like that it makes sense that your camera would have a more centralized position, rather than pointing at you from one side of the phone at an angle.

In fact, I can’t think of any occasions where I’ve needed to use the camera with my own iPad positioned in portrait mode. So it feels like a no brainer to me, especially if Apple is still peddling iPads as alternatives to the best laptops and other productivity devices.

It’s also been speculated that this change may not be restricted to the iPad Air. Code has been discovered in iPadOS 17.4 suggesting the iPad Pro may also be getting a landscape-friendly camera placement. The code claims that the tablet would need to be in landscape mode to set-up FaceID — but afterwards it’ll work no matter how the device is oriented.

It’s still not entirely clear when the 2024 iPad launch is set to take place. It was originally expected to happen at a special event alongside the launch of the M3 MacBook Air, but that didn’t happen. 

We have heard that the new iPad Air is already being shipped to the U.S., suggesting that the new iPad launch is imminent, while Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has predicted either an late March or early April launch. So hopefully it means we’ll see the new iPads at some point in the next month.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.