iPad Air with M2 chipset

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

Apple’s brand-new M2 iPad Air, which the company unveiled at its May iPad event, is causing all sorts of confusion over the true number of GPU cores available in its M2 chip. 

Alongside the new larger 13-inch display option, faster Wi-Fi, and a new landscape FaceTime camera, the headline upgrade was the new M2 chip, inherited from Apple’s previous best iPad, the M2 iPad Pro. 

In the accompanying launch day press release, Apple stated “The M2 chip brings another big boost in performance to iPad Air, featuring a faster 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU,” the same configuration Apple used in the M2 iPad Pro. That spec is repeated in the iPad Air’s tech specs on Apple support. However, information uncovered over the weekend appears to suggest Apple has quietly changed the iPad Air’s spec to reflect that it contains a 9-core, rather than 10-core, GPU. 

9to5 Mac reports “Despite originally touting the iPad Air’s M2 chip as featuring a 10-core GPU, the company now says it features a 9-core GPU.” According to the report, Apple’s tech specs page on its main website has been updated to this effect — a change still in force when we checked. Web archive searches show the page listed a 10-core GPU as recently as May 21, indicating the change was very recent. Apple’s iPad comparison page also reflects the alteration. 

iPad Air GPU conundrum 

This development is very strange, and we’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the matter. Apple doesn’t seem to have made this spec sheet change globally. According to our checks, the change has been made on Apple’s main U.S. web page, as well as in Australia, China, Japan, and New Zealand (at least). 

Further checks indicate the M2 iPad Air is still listed as a 10-core GPU model in the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, and Spain. 

If Apple has indeed changed the specs of the M2 iPad Air, possibly to reflect the true number of GPU cores available in the new model, it could shed some light on the device’s Geekbench GPU scores, which are noticeably lower than the M2 iPad Pro with the same chip. As noted by one Redditor, the iPad Air falls short of both the M2 iPad Pro and the M2 MacBook Air, leading to speculation Apple has listed the wrong variant. 

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Without further insight from Apple, it’s impossible to say at this stage whether the change reflects a simple (albeit colossal) typo in Apple’s initial iPad marketing material or a problem with chip yield that has led Apple to alter the specs of the new iPad Air. Despite the aforementioned benchmarks, it’s also not possible at this stage to determine whether this change is reflective of all iPad Air M2 models, including ones already sold, or whether this is a change to the spec that will only affect new models going forward. We’ll update this story as soon as we have more information. 

A better iPad Air deal might well be a saving on the old M1 model, like this hefty discount on a 256GB model:

More from iMore

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore’s latest breaking news regarding all of Apple’s products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

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The post Apple makes bizarre iPad Air M2 update — 10-core GPU now listed as 9-core in some countries including the U.S. first appeared on

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