According to a report on 9to5 Mac today, Apple is not in fact planning to launch a new iPad Air tablet at its forthcoming event on March 15, but, rather, it intends to expand the iPad Pro line by releasing a 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The theory goes that just as Apple has the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro versions, it wants to also have two different-sized versions of the iPad Pro.
9to5 Mac says that it has heard from its sources that the smaller iPad Pro will have very similar specs to the 12.9-inch model, including the A9X processor. It will also use the 12.9-inch display technology to enable use of the Apple Pencil with the device.
And, along with the recently reported addition of a Smart Connector, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will have a smaller version of the Smart Keyboard cover, which is also due to be available in March.
It is thought that the new iPad Pro will be available to buy as soon as March 18.
Source: Apple to launch 9.7-inch iPad Pro, not Air 3; Smart Keyboard & Apple Pencil support likely