This is what the 12.9-inch iPad Air looks like

New renders show what the biggest ever iPad Air will look like, and as expected it's pretty similar to the current model

Render showing design of iPad Air 12.9 inch
(Image credit: 91mobiles)

We've been hearing about the 12.9-inch iPad Air for some time now, and it reportedly went into production in December for an early 2024 launch date - most likely March. And according to 91Mobiles, the image above is what it looks like.

The image is a render that, according to  91Mobiles, has been "shared by industry sources". The most likely source of the leak is a case or similar accessory manufacturer, because in order to have their add-on products ready for launch day they need to know what specific hardware they're adding on to. 

At first glance the new design looks just like the current one, albeit with a bigger screen. But there is one significant difference: the camera unit on the back.

What's new in the iPad Air 12.9?

Most of the iPad Air design we're seeing here is the same as the current version. The Touch ID button is on the top, just like it is in the current Air, and there are speaker grilles top and bottom too. There's the now-standard USB connector at the bottom, and there's a side switch for the volume controls. However, if you look again you'll see that the bezels are thicker than before – something that makes it visibly different from the similarly sized iPad Pro.

The camera bump is different, too. There's now a border around the lens and the LED flash, and the camera section is larger too; it looks rather like the pill-shaped camera setup we first saw in the iPhone X. 

Of course we can't see the insides from this CAD render but reports so far suggest that while this new iPad will be bigger than its siblings it won't be significantly more powerful: if you want power as well as size, Apple would very much like you to buy the iPad Pro instead. So it's unlikely that you'll see features such as the Pro's LiDAR scanner or a more advanced display. I suspect that for most potential buyers that won't matter: for me the biggest advantage of the bigger screens are for reading and writing, neither of which demand massive amounts of power; if you're looking at a big screen to power Logic Pro or Final Cut Pro, an iPad Pro is probably the better iPad for you.

While these renders look convincing it's important to note that we don't know how recent they are: Apple may have changed some of the details since these were made. But with the expected launch just weeks away, it can't be long before some actual photos of the final iPad Air start to leak.

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 (