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Is Apple replacing the iPad Air 3 with an iPad Pro mini?

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Apple‘s iPad Pro has been a huge success if we’re looking at sales figures, but it is also incredibly…well, huge. At 12.9 inches, it can be a little tricky to hold and use in one hand which may have turned some off it.

Still, that didn’t stop it from outselling Microsoft’s entire Surface lineup in Q4 of 2015. If the only thing stopping you from picking one up yourself is the size, we have good news for you because it looks like Apple has plans to launch a 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

What everyone thought was going to be the iPad Air 3, may actually turn out to be a smaller iPad Pro as 9to5Mac reports. It is said to come with the same monstrous A9X processor, quad speakers and compatibility with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard which should translate to pretty stellar performance figures.

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Despite what seems like a bump up the iPad hierarchy, 9to5Mac says that the smaller iPad Pro will be priced closer to the iPad Air‘s line of products. If this turns out to be true, it looks like Apple could be replacing the iPad Air line with this tablet, thus tightening and streamlining its iPad lineup.

We like this move as it only brings less confusion to buyers, it also usually means that each product would be more focused and precise, allowing it to be clearly differentiated from others in the line.

It is also said that Apple could discontinue the first-generation iPad Air and iPad mini 2 when this new mini iPad Pro supposedly launches in Apple’s March event. Other things to look out for during that event is the unveiling of the purported smaller 4-inch iPhone 5se plus new Apple Watch band options.

SEE ALSO:  Deal: iPhone 7 128GB now going for RM1,849, iPhone XS from RM4,099

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As mentioned earlier, performance should be unaffected, and since they’re bringing over the iPad Pro’s excellent quad speakers and display, media consumption and gaming should be better than ever now that it’s in a more portable form factor.

That said, shrinking the size down to 9.7 inches seems like it would go against the design philosophy Apple had for their iPad Pro line where Tim Cook himself said would be a laptop replacement 2-in-1 device. A smaller screen means less real estate for multitasking and productivity tasks, thus hampering its capability as a workhorse.

It seems to be an interesting turn of events then, but keep in mind that these aren’t officially confirmed specifications though 9to5Mac has a reputation for being fairly reliable with such information. Nevertheless, do take this with a pinch of salt.

What do you think about this move from Apple? Were you anxiously waiting for the iPad Air 3? Drop us a comment down below.

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