The biggest iPad Air that Apple's ever made is reportedly in production, with an expected launch date of March 2024. As we previously reported, Apple is making a 12.9-inch version of its best iPad for most people, delivering the same massive screen size as its most expensive iPad Pro for what we assume is considerably less cash – not least because we're expecting a price hike on the Pros in 2024.
The screen won't be identical to the iPad Pro – that's currently mini-LED, with an OLED model expected next year – but the Air's existing LCD screen is very nice, and a bigger version of the same would be great for working on a larger canvas or just lounging around watching Apple TV+.
When is the large iPad Air coming?
According to Bloomberg's well-connected Mark Gurman, the new Air will launch in or around March 2024: display analyst Ross Young says that the display panels for the newer, larger Air are already shipping from Apple's suppliers.
Other than the larger display, the 2024 iPad Air is not expected to get any radical design changes; inside it's expected to move up from the current M1 processor to the more powerful M2, with the M3s reserved for Apple's iPad Pros and more powerful Macs for the time being.
In terms of price, your guess is as good as ours: the current iPad Air starts at £669, the 11-inch iPad Pro is £899 and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at £1,249. I'd expect the larger Air to cost somewhere close to the smaller Pro's current price, and for both iPad Pro models to become more expensive.
I'm currently using a slightly older iPad Pro 12.9-inch as my everyday iPad, and that larger screen makes a massive difference: magazines in Apple News+ are much easier to read (many titles just provide images of the pages, which makes them quite hard to read on smaller iPads) and games and videos are much better too. The only real downside is with apps that haven't been optimised for big screens, such as the official Reddit app: it expands to fill all the available space, so a single embedded video might take up the whole screen. Hopefully the arrival of larger iPads might persuade app developers to avoid such pitfalls in future.