Smart Connector looking likely in latest iPad Air leak

Extra speakers and a flash for the rear camera could be on the way too

A new leak just dropped a massive hint about what to expect from the next iPad Air - and it could be great news for music fans and on-the-go typists.

A listing on Alibaba, China’s version of Amazon, shows what looks like a third party case for the iPad Air 3, complete with extra cutouts for more speakers and a Smart Connector.

The Smart Connector turned up on the iPad Pro in September, as an alternative (and more reliable) way to connect a Bluetooth keyboard. If the leak turns out to be true, it means the iPad Air 3 is in line for the same treatment - possibly with an official Apple keyboard cover to go with it.

The four speaker cutouts match rumours that first started swirling earlier this month. It would definitely be a step up from the iPad Air 2’s twin stereo speakers, and would be much better for watching TV shows or movies without plugging in a pair of headphones.

The other new addition is the larger camera cutout on the back of the case. That points to a rear camera flash - a first for the iPad and something the top-end iPad Pro doesn’t have.

The case was first spotted by Macotakara, and matches a lot of existing rumours, but don’t go placing bets on iPad features just yet. Cases and covers revealed ahead of launch are usually built off of rumours, rather than insider info direct from Apple.

We won’t know for sure until the iPad Air 3 launches. That should be in March, alongside the iPhone 6C (or 5se) and some new Apple Watch models.