A new iPad Air 3 drawing shows off Smart Connector, four speakers, and a thicker frame

Another iPad Air 3 design drawing, published Monday by Engadget, seems to support the thesis that the forthcoming device refresh will be outfitted with four speakers and include support for the Smart Connector. As you know, both of these features have made their debut with last fall’s release of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Interestingly enough, but perhaps not all that surprising, Apple has had to make some trade-offs to get those features packed into the iPad Air 3. Specifically, the new tablet will be 0.05 mm thicker and 0.1 mm wider than the iPad Air 2. That might not be a deal breaker for most, though, considering what Apple is including in the new device.

On January 31, a report surfaced that showed a case cut-out for the iPad Air 3, which indicated all of the above features. As it stands, it seems likely that Apple will include four speakers, Smart Accessory support with the Smart Connector, and a rear flash on the iPad Air 3. Apple Pencil support seems like a shoe-in, too.

As for when Apple might announce the new iPad Air member, that’s likely to be at its March event, where it is believed Apple will also announce new Apple Watch bands, along with the 4-inch “iPhone 5se.”

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