Apple reveals: this is the meaning of ‘Air’ in the iPad Air

The iPad Pro 2024 is, if possible, even thinner than the iPad Air 2024, so what does the term ‘Air’ actually mean? That’s how it is.

The meaning of ‘Air’ in the iPad Air

It turns out that the term “Air” was first used for the thin and light MacBook Air in 2008. At the time, it was indeed thinner and lighter than the MacBook Pro. It wasn’t until the 12-inch Retina MacBook came out in 2015 that things got confusing.

With a weight of only 2.03 kilos, this MacBook Pro was smaller and lighter than the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air had half the storage space and a quarter less screen resolution and was therefore sold a lot cheaper. The meaning of ‘Air’ was no longer the thinnest and lightest device, but rather the most consumer-friendly device.

meaning 'Air'
Retina MacBook 2015.

Nowadays, MacBook Air means affordable, thin and light compared to the MacBook Pro. The iPad Air, on the other hand, is affordable, thicker and heavier than the iPad Pro.

History of the iPad Air

The original iPad was the thinnest, lightest and most affordable iPad ever in 2010. In 2011, the iPad 2 appeared with an even thinner and lighter design and the same starting price of 479 euros. In 2012, Apple made the iPad thicker and heavier. The third-generation iPad, the first with a Retina display, was the best iPad ever in 2012 until the fourth-generation iPad was released later that year.

The March 2012 iPad 3 was a tank of a tablet and in November 2012 Apple updated the flagship with the iPad 4, replacing the 30-pin connector with Lightning and replacing the A5X chip with a more efficient A6X chip. The iPad 4 that came next was more powerful in terms of graphics processing, but still heavier than the iPad 2. Meanwhile, the first iPad mini came onto the market.

In 2013, a 9.7-inch version of the iPad was released and Apple called it the iPad Air. This original iPad Air was incredibly thin and light, even compared to the iPad 2. This was also the meaning of ‘Air’ at the time. In 2014, Apple released the even thinner and lighter iPad Air 2.

ipad air 2024
iPad Air 2024.

The meaning of ‘Air’

In 2015, Apple introduced the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which also became more expensive. The iPad Air has existed in some form ever since, but the original meaning of ‘Air’ (the thinnest and lightest model) hasn’t really been retained. It just feels like a marketing term these days, even though new generations are still emerging.

On paper, the iPad and iPad Air appear to be distinctly different iPads that have been updated over the years. In reality, Apple only uses these product names to indicate that there are different models under the flagship iPad.

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