iPad Air 6 tipped to be the only new iPad you'll see this year

The iPad Air 6 could get a big processor bump but don't expect a radical redesign just yet

iPad Air 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

If you're planning to buy a new iPad, don't do it this week – or at least, don't do it if you want an iPad Air. Apple's best iPad for most of us is going to be updated next month, and it'll be the only iPad update we'll see in 2023.

That's according to a solid-sounding rumour circulating on Chinese social media network Weibo, as reported by MacRumors. The rumour says there will be no new iPad mini or iPad Pro this year, and that "only the iPad Air series should be updated" before the end of 2023. 

That ties in with previous commentary by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who says that there's a new 6th generation iPad Air with a spec bump coming "soonish", most likely in October. If that's the case then it's worth hanging on a few weeks to get more iPad power, or to get the current model for a bit less cash.

What to expect from the iPad Air (2023)

The new iPad Air is likely to move up from the current M1 chip to the M2, which we've already seen in the iPad Pro, the latest MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro too. I can't say I've ever encountered performance issues with my M1 Air, which I use for heavy-duty things such as running Logic Pro, but a faster, more efficient processor is always nice to have. 

OLED iPads are still some way off and the Air has already moved to USB-C, so any other changes in the sixth generation are likely to be minor: the move to the M-series silicon was a big change and that was last Spring, so we're very much in the "tock" part of Apple's usual tick-tock upgrade pattern: the seventh generation is the one most likely to get a redesign in a year or so.

That said, you never know with Apple: with the rumour factory and the legions of leakers focused on this week's iPhone 15 launch, it's possible that Apple's working on something interesting for the iPad Air 6. Expect to find out for sure in October, which is when Apple tends to unveil its iPads and other educational products.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).