iPad Air 2, Mini 3 Found In iOS 7.1 Code, Suggesting 2014 Release Date: Rumors
The next Apple iPad offerings have surfaced via iOS 7.1 code, according to 9to5Mac.
The latest Apple mobile OS update reportedly brings support for two unannounced iPad models codenamed iPad 4,3 and iPad 4,6. Rumors suggest that these could be the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, two minor updates possible for release in 2014. The report adds that the codenames for the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display are iPad 4,1 and 4,2.
However, it is also noted that these iPad listings could be for devices optomized for overseas networks like China.
The Air 2 will be Apple's big 2014 iPad upgrade, and not the previously-rumored iPad Pro, according to trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.
"We believe Apple plans to launch upgraded iPad Air early this year, and will accelerate development of 12.9-inch iPad," Kuo wrote in a recent research note. "As such, more resources will be allocated to these two products, which will affect the progress of the development of new iPad mini. All told, we think chances of the debut of a new iPad mini in 2H14 are slim. In addition, the 12.9-inch iPad is unlikely to be offered in 2014. For these reasons, we predict the only new iPad product in 2H14 will be the upgraded iPad Air."
Kuo believes the iPad Pro will now release in 2015, which falls in line with a recent Digitimes report with supply chain sources that claim Apple has delayed its plans to release a 12.85-inch iPad.
Kuo added that, contrary to rumors following the iOS 7.1 code sighting, he sees the next-generation iPad Mini with Retina display (iPad Mini 3) getting pushed back to 2015.
"Compared with lower-margin iPad mini with Retina display, which shipments has been tepid, higher-margin iPad Air was a hot selling item in 4Q13, which will slow Apple in developing new iPad mini models," wrote Kuo.
The iPad Air 2 is expected to release with Apple's new A8 chip, which could also debut in the upcoming iPhone 6. Other specs rumors for the device include the TouchID fingerprint scanner, which debuted in the iPhone 5S, and a high-resolution display.
Kuo added that he believes the iWatch will also get a 2014 release.