As you already know Apple (NYSE: AAPL) this week held its next-generation iPad keynote in Cupertino, California. During the event Tim Cook and his team unveiled the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display. The company also showcased some third-party editing apps on the new iPad Air to demonstrate what its new A8X hardware is capable of doing. In case you missed the event or needed a reminder, the first app was Pixelmator. The award-winning photo editor is currently available on the Mac Store for $29.99 and it will be available on the App Store for the iPad in a few weeks.
The second app showcased at the keynote was Replay. This app allows users to easily turn their photos and videos into movies even if they don't know anything about editing. Replay is available now for free on the App Store. It requires iOS 7.1 or later and runs four times faster with Apple's A8X chip. The entire iPad event and app demonstrations are now available to watch on Apple.com.
Both the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are now available for pre-order. Apple (NYSE:AAPL) fans can pre-order the new tablets through Apple.com, AT&T and Best Buy. Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile have not opened pre-orders at the time of this post. Walmart, Target and Amazon.com are also expected to start carrying the new iPads in the near future. Apple stated at its keynote on Thursday that the iPad Air 2 would start shipping “later next week".
Both the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray. The iPad Air 2 starts at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and the iPad mini 3 starts at $399. You can see a list of prices for all the avilable models below.
While Apple mainly focused on the iPad Air 2 at its keynote on Thursday, the iPad mini lineup did get a quick mention during the event. Not only was the third-generation iPad mini with Touch ID announced, but Apple fans also learned that the entire iPad mini family will stick around for at least another year. This is good news for bargain shoppers because the original iPad mini is now the most affordable tablet ever offered by Apple.
The original iPad mini will now be available starting at $249, which is $150 less than its original asking price. iOS fans looking for an affordable iPad Retina display option will be able to pick up the second-generation iPad mini for only $299. That's a $100 drop from its recent price tag of $399.
Apple today announced its second-generation iPad Air 2 and third-generation iPad mini 3 at its Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino, California. While both devices are indeed impressive, Tim Cook and his team did not announce anything about the new tablets that wasn't already previously leaked. As expected, both the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will ship with the same Touch ID fingerprint sensor found on the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. This will allow iPad users to unlock their devices without having to type in a password, and give them the ability to make easy online and in-app purchases when using Apple Pay, which launches this Monday along with iOS 8.1.
The most noteworthy feature of the iPad Air 2 is once again its design. Apple managed to make the new tablet 18 percent less thinner (6.1mm thin and 0.96lb) than its predecessor while creating the "fastest, most powerful iPad ever". The second-generation iPad Air is powered by a new A8x chip that delivers 40 percent faster CPU performance, and it is equipped with a 2048‐by‐1536 resolution (264 ppi) Retina display with new anti-reflective coating that reduces glare by 56 percent.
The next generation iPad Air will definitely debut tomorrow and, considering some premature iTunes uploads, quite possibly the iPad mini 3. According to one analyst, the iPad Air 2 supplies could be limited.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a note to investors obtained by AppleInsider, wrote that production issues will likely limit the initial supply. Specifically, there are yield rate issues concerning the anti-reflective display coating on the new tablet, meaning a larger than expected amount of screens produced are defective. He expects anywhere from 7 to 9 million units to ship for launch. By comparison, 12 million iPad Air units shipped when it launched last year.
There was never any doubt that Apple planned to announce the iPad Air 2 tomorrow, but there was some uncertainty about the future of the iPad mini, until now. Apple has prematurely uploaded the iOS 8.1 iPad user guide to iTunes with details about the second-generation iPad Air and third-generation iPad mini.
As you can see from the screenshot posted above, both the next-generation iPad Air and iPad mini will ship with Touch ID. The leak also shows that the iPad Air iSight camera will now feature Burst Mode, and that the new tablets will be named the "iPad Air 2" and "iPad mini 3," like we have always expected.
Apple is set to announce the iPad Air 2 on October 16, and recent rumors are pointing to a October 24 launch for the new tablet. iPad owners who are planning to purchase the second-generation iPad Air should consider trading-in their older model now. Not only do trade-in prices drop after an official release, but NextWorth is currently offering an extra $10 for all iPad trade-ins when you use the promo code OCTIPAD10.
Trading-in your iPad is simple. Just visit NextWorth.com and select the iPad model you want to sell. Answer a few simple questions to get your instant quote and hit "Sell it now" button to lock-in your trade-in value.
Several weeks ago, rumors emerged that a beefed up A8 processor, the A8X, would power the iPad Pro, a 12.9" Retina display tablet expected to debut sometime in early 2015. Now a leaked photo has surfaced of a purported logic board for the next generation iPad Air sporting an A8X, suggesting we may see the new chip sooner than expected.
The photo, which was leaked by Apple.club.tw on Monday, not only shows an A8X processor, but what appears to be a 2GB Elpida RAM module as well. There has been speculation about the RAM upgrade, as there have been rumors that the new tablet will have split-screen multitasking functionality, which would require some extra horsepower. We'll know soon enough, as Apple is expected to unveil the new iPad Air at a media event this Thursday, October 16th.
There has been a noticeable lack of iPad mini leaks and rumors leading up to Apple's October 16th iPad keynote, making some believe that this is the end of the line for the 7-inch tablet. However today, the Japanese blog Macotakara reports that the smaller tablet will make an appearance alongside its larger counterpart at Apple's press conference on Thursday.
One reason for that lack of iPad mini 3 rumors could be that the upcoming refresh isn't that exciting. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in April that the next-generation iPad mini may only receive a new processor and Touch ID, as opposed to the iPad Air 2 which is rumored to be getting a redesign, its own A8X chip, 2GB of RAM and other notable upgrades.
"...We previously thought Apple would not release a new version of the iPad mini this year, but we now think Apple will launch an upgraded version with same form factor, A8 processor and Touch ID (fingerprint recognition) to boost shipments of iPad mini with Retina display."
Apple is set to unveil its new iPad lineup on October 16, 2014. The company sent out invitations to select members of the press on Wednesday announcing that the event will be held at 10:00am Pacific at Apple's Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino, California. The iPad keynote will also be streamed live on Apple.com and Apple TV. You can see a complete list of rumored iPad Air 2 specs here.
Will.i.am is also holding his own event in San Francisco on Thursday. The Black Eyed Peas frontman plans to launch his own smartwatch to directly compete with the Apple Watch. The new wearable device will run Google's Android operating system and feature a curved display, according to the Telegraph. The watch will also ship with its own music service and will not require a smartphone for full functionality, like other smartwatches on the market.