Apple released the iPad Air almost a year ago, updating its original iPad with a thinner, lighter design. The company updated the iPad Mini to incorporate the same svelte design, but since then the focus has been on the new iPhone 6 models, especially the larger Plus. Apple is expected to have another event sometime in October, and there are big rumors surrounding an iPad Air refresher. Here's what we've heard so far.
Design and Features
Gold is on the way. Apple debuted the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last month in gold, and now it looks like gold could be coming to the iPad Air 2. Cult of Mac reports the gold color could hit the next line of iPad Airs, which be in addition to the silver and gray colors already available.
The iPad Air 2 is also rumored to sport many of the same features that the latest iPhones do, including support for Apple Pay and a Touch ID fingerprint scanner. A recently leaked image from apple.club.tw shows off what could be the iPad Air 2's fingerprint reader module, so its entirely possible that you'll be authorizing Apple Pay purchases using just your finger on the new slate.
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According to leaked images of the tablet's alleged logic board, the iPad Air will likely be updated with a faster A8 processor and 2GB of RAM. The more powerful chip, inside the latest iPhones, promises to provide faster CPU and graphics performance than the A7. It's also rumored that the iPad Air 2 will have an an 8-megapixel rear camera, which would be an upgrade from the 5-megapixel shooter on the current slate.
Bloomberg reports that Apple could be improving the display of the iPad Air 2 with an anti-reflective coating, which could make it easier to read. If the anti-reflection properties do indeed make reading text easier, the iPad could become a bigger competitor for Amazon's new Kindle Fire HDX. Also rumored is full lamination for the display, which could allow Apple to make the iPad Air 2 even thinner than the original Air.
There have been whispers of a super-sized, 12.9-inch iPad Air in the works, possibly named the iPad Pro. MacRumors reported that Apple could be getting panels from Samsung for this next-generation product. In addition to the larger body and bigger display, rumors say the iPad Pro could be powered by a more powerful A8X processor.
Some reports say the iPad Pro could arrive as early as this year, and if so it would likely be announced at Apple's next event. However, others speculate that Apple won't release the product until early 2015.
Apple is hosting a press event on Oct. 16, when we're likely to see the iPad Air 2 make its official debut. In addition to the next wave of iPad Airs, we could see an update to the iPad Mini at this event, as well as an iMac outfitted with a 5K, Retina display and possibly a new 12-inch Retina MacBook.
We'll likely have to wait for the illusive iPad Pro until next year, even in the unlikely case that Apple announces it at the end of the month. At the very least, the iPad Air 2 will provide a much-needed update as tablet sales continue to slide.