According to leaker @duanrui1205, Apple will be releasing a new iPad Air 4th Generation with an iPad Pro-esque design. The leaked iPad Air 4 documentation implies that it will also use USB-C and Touch ID.
The documentation is supposedly the iPad Air 4 equivalent of the Quick Start guide that comes with every Apple product. Normally, it is held within a little folder that says “Designed by Apple in California” on the front and includes Apple logo stickers. This version is in Spanish, but I’ve used Google Translate to help translate the important stuff.
The first image that was shared simply says the name ‘iPad Air’, but the second image offers a lot more information about the upcoming device. Although the left side of the pamphlet is largely blurred/out of focus, some words can be made out. Based on this, it would seem that this iPad Air is getting Apple Pencil 2nd Generation support. Although it’s difficult to see, the diagram on the left side of the screen shows an Apple Pencil connecting magnetically to the side of the iPad.
The last paragraph on the left side of the second image also mentions USB-C, a feature that has been exclusive to all iPad Pro models since 2018. It could certainly be possible that Apple are adding USB-C to the iPad Air, especially to market it as a more professional device.
The right side of the second image shows a picture of the back of the iPad Air. It seems that Apple is using the squared iPad Pro 2018 design with rounded corners. The rear uses one camera, just like the 2018 iPad Pro, and has a Smart Connector on the bottom for Smart Keyboards.
The next image gives us a much better look at the front of the iPad Air. If this leak is to be believed, Apple will be switching to a home-button-less design for this iPad, just like the iPad Pro. The documentation shows that you offer access the Control Centre and Dock the same way as the iPad Pro. Also, at the top of the iPad in each leaked picture, you can see the front-facing camera.
The left side of the image talks about using Touch ID, specifically saying: “Touch ID with the top button to unlock the iPad, make payments with Apple Pay and more”. (Translated to Spanish by Google Translate). Based on this, it seems that Apple is not going to be using Face ID with this iPad, but instead will be moving the Touch ID sensor to the Power Button of the iPad.
The fourth and final picture shared by the leaker simply offers another look at the design of the new iPad Air. Again it shows significantly reduced bezels, the lack of a home button, and more.
iPad Air is designed to be for both regular consumers and professionals. It has a place in between the base iPad and the top tier iPad Pro (iPad mini is like a mix between iPad Air and iPad). It would certainly make sense for Apple to give it USB-C, a new design, and Apple Pencil 2nd Generation to encourage more professional users, but while also keeping the price tag low by removing Face ID, the speakers at the top, and some likely other internal features. Regardless, if this leak is to be believed, the iPad Air 4th Generation is certainly shaping up to be a great device.