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Apple planning iPad Air 3 launch in 2016, iPad Mini 4 and iPad Pro coming in November

For the past few years, Apple has launched the iPad and iPad Mini a month or two after the iPhone at the end of the year, usually around October-November, but this year that might change.

Reports from the EDT (opens in new tab) claim that Apple is planning to launch the iPad Mini 4 and iPad Pro late this year, following supply delays to the iPad Pro (opens in new tab). The iPad Air 3 however will launch in early 2016, to make way for the iPad Pro launch.

It does seem like a smart move to get as much traction on the iPad Pro as possible. The 12.9-inch tablet will be Apple’s next step in the industry, focused on business and professional customers that want the extra real estate.

The iPad Pro is expected to feature some software enhancements (opens in new tab), like an extra keyboard row for numbers. On the third-party side, Apple might give app developers more tools to implement on the extra 2.9 inches of space.

As for the iPad Mini 4, we haven’t heard much about the apparent changes. It seems like Apple is still stuck in its ideas rut, where thinness and weight are the only two changes it can make to the iPads.

The same can be said for the iPad Air 3, which may see some changes later in the year once Apple runs it through manufacturing. This is a planned delay, it would seem, and not a delay due to lack of supply.

The iPad has seen eight straight quarters of decline, with the iPad 2 still the most popular tablet in the range. Even though Apple still holds the majority of the tablet market, customers are moving to phablets or back to PCs, instead of investing in a new tablet.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.