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New iPad Air 4 leaks reveal big upgrades — and an imminent release

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Apple is gearing up to release several new devices before the end of the year. We know the iPhone 12 will make an appearance in the coming months and now a pair of leaks suggest a new iPad Air will be the mix.

The first piece of evidence is a listing in the database of the Eurasian Economic Commission (ECC), which certifies products to be sold in Russia and other countries. First reported by French website Consomac, the filings include model numbers for eight unknown iPads and seven unknown Apple Watch versions.

The actual names of these products are concealed under a long string of numbers so we can't say for certain that it's the Apple Watch 6 and iPad Air 4. Then again, the model identifiers correspond with 'tablets' and 'wearables' and one set of listings mentions watchOS 7 while the other name-drops iPadOS 14 (two yet-to-be-released software versions).

ECC filings typically preface the release of products, so whatever these devices are, Apple will probably reveal them in the next few months.

The next leak gives us more tangible evidence in the form of a user guide. Originally seen on Chinese social media site Xiaohongshu and later posted on Twitter by leaker @DuanRui (via MacRumors), a photo allegedly shows a manual for the iPad Air 4. 

Within the manual are images of the alleged iPad 4 with thin display bezels similar to those on the iPad Pro. There is no fingerprint sensor on the front of the tablet and the rear has a single camera setup.  Interestingly, the manual doesn't mention Face ID but it shows users how to set up Touch ID by using the fingerprint scanner on an elongated power button positioned on the top edge of the slate.

Flipping to the next page reveals a USB-C input instead of a Lightning connector and you can see a Smart Connector on the back of the device for connecting to a Magic Keyboard attachment. 

We haven't verified this document so we can't be certain that these images show the iPad 4. If they do, Apple is taking smart steps to modernize the iPad Air and bring it closer to parity with the expensive iPad Pro.