Apple Says M2 iPad Air Has 9 GPU Cores, Not 10 as Originally Stated

Apple has seemingly updated its tech specs webpage for the latest M2 iPad Air models to indicate the M2 chip has a 9-core GPU, rather than 10 cores as previously stated.

The change was first reported by 9to5Mac. Based on available web snapshots, the change on Apple’s US website was made within the last 10 days. However, the equivalent webpage on many of Apple’s regional stores still lists the M2 iPad Air as having a 10-core GPU.

Apple’s press release originally announcing the product on its Newsroom also mirrors the original 10-core spec, as does support documentation for the device.

Apple has not commented on the change, which, if accurate, makes the new iPad Air the first M2-based Apple device with a 9-core GPU. Since the change went live on Apple’s site, the going theory is that Apple’s processor yield of 10-core chips was not sufficient, so it is using a “binned” version of the 10-core chip with one of the GPU cores disabled. The practice of “binning” is sometimes used to optimize processor yields and reduce waste.

In all likelihood, every M2 iPad Air model that Apple has sold includes a 9-core GPU, and Apple is simply updating its product information for accuracy. Any real-world performance difference between an M2 iPad Air with a 9-core versus a 10-core GPU would have likely been unnoticeable to most users. Even so, some customers will likely want to know why Apple’s marketing materials were mistaken.

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