While I’ve used an iPad Pro for a while now, I am excited to give Apple’s next iPad Air a close look. If it lives up to the rumors, this new Apple tablet should deliver some of the most important features of the Pro at a more manageable price point. It may not be for me, but if Apple strikes the right balance between features and value, this new tablet might replace the lower-priced iPad as the go-to device for most buyers.
There have been on and off rumors of this new device all through 2020. I was hoping Apple would deliver this new hardware over the summer, ahead of the typical iPhone launch cycle. The company usually tries not to crowd releases too much and the Apple Watch has been paired with the new iPhone the last couple of years. A new Air on top of that seems like a bit much, leading me to believe it would come late in 2020 if it doesn’t arrive before the new iPhones.
If a new report from Digitimes is true, the new Air will probably land later in 2020. According to this usually reliable supply chain source, the parts and components for the new iPad will begin production in Q3.
Taiwan’s supply chain will kick off shipments in third-quarter 2020 of related parts and components such as backlit units (BLUs) for next-generation MacBook and iPad products slated for launch in the latter half of the year, driving the suppliers’ revenue growth, according to industry sources.
It’s good to get some news that this device is still moving forward, but if components don’t begin production until Q3 (in other words, between right now and the end of September), then an assembled device likely won’t be available until between late fall and the end of the year. This certainly isn’t bad news, but I was hoping that Apple might choose to release some of their backlog of hardware before the iPhone, rather than after it.
Whenever the new Air arrives, Digitimes and their sources expect healthy demand:
Sales prospects for the new 10.8-inch iPad devices are also bright as the new lineup, which feature high performance CPUs, will be available at more affordable prices, the sources indicated.
The Digitimes report also mentions a new 13″ MacBook Pro and MacBook Air that should have components entering production around the same time. These should be the first of the new laptops to come with Apple Silicone processors, so demand should be very high.
As Apple is set to release 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, powered by Apple Silicon, by the end of this year, total shipments of MacBook lineup are expected to reach 16-17 million units in 2020 compared to 14.5-15.5 million units shipped a year earlier, the sources estimated.
With lots of other potential devices on top of a new iPad Air, 2 new MacBooks and the new iPhones, such as the AirPods Studio headphone, HomePod 2, AirTags and more, it could be a very busy end of the year for Apple. As we wade through the hottest part of summer and a resurgence of COVID-19 here in the US, fall can’t come soon enough for Apple fans.