iPad Air 3 will be a smaller iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard, Pencil support

Last year, Apple went ahead and launched the iPad Pro and the iPad mini 4, but kept the curtain over what many believed would be an iPad Air 3 for a future event. Up until just recently, that big reveal date was said to be sometime in March, alongside the “iPhone 5se,” and more bands for the Apple Watch. A sale date of March 18 has even been bandied about. However, according to a new report from 9to5Mac, Apple doesn’t actually plan on launching an iPad Air 3 in March.

“Much like the MacBook Pro comes in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, the iPad Pro will soon come in 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch variations.” The move makes sense, considering that the new iPad is expected to feature most of the Pro’s internals.

From the report:
The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro will debut at Apple’s Tuesday, March 15th event and begin shipping as soon as March 18th, we previously reported. The smaller iPad Pro will have nearly identical features and specifications as the bigger model, bringing along the A9X processor and RAM upgrades from the 12.9-inch model. It will also include the 12.9-inch model’s updated display technology to support the Apple Pencil.
Additionally, the smaller iPad Pro is expected to feature a Smart Connector, and Apple is said to be preparing a new version of its Smart Keyboard for the tablet. It’s also said to offer dual sets of speakers, and possible a flash for the rear camera.

Other potential items on the docket for next month’s event include the long-rumored 4-inch iPhone 5se, which is said to have an A9 processor and a design similar to the iPhone 5s, as well as new Apple Watch band colors and other accessories.

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