iPad Air 2

A8X Chip to Power iPad Pro

It has long been rumored that Apple will introduce a bigger, more powerful tablet, dubbed the iPad Pro, either in late 2014 or early 2015. More likely the latter. A recent report from Taiwanese site Tech News indicates that it will likely sport an enhanced version of the A8 chip that is found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

iPad Pro to have A8X chip

According to the report, the "A8X" is necessary to cope with the much larger 12.9" retina display. The largest iPad display to date is the iPad Air's 9.7" screen. The report also mentioned that the next generation iPad Air will likely double its memory to 2GB RAM.

Second Report Claims iPad Air 2 Coming in October

The Commercial Times claims that Apple has begun production on its second-generation iPad Air and that the new tablet will begin to ship by mid-October. The Times' report coincides with an earlier report from AppleInsider that also said Apple plans to launch the iPad Air 2 this fall.

iPad Mini 3

The Times also claims that the third-generation iPad mini will be delayed until early 2015. This is interesting since Apple has always launched its 9.7-inch and 7.9 inch tablets together since the iPad mini was first introduced back in 2012. However, rumors and leaks for the new iPad mini have been basically nonexistent, which could mean Apple has put it on the back burner.

Apple Planning Second Round of Product Announcements for October, According to Report

Apple still has a few new products up its sleeve and the company is planning to unveil all of them around mid-to-late October, according to AppleInsider. Citing an inside source that has "shared reliable information on product introduction and timing in the past," AppleInsider claims Apple has set "internal project and marketing deadlines of mid-October," and plans to announce its new products later that month.

iPad / Apple TV Refresh

While Apple is expected to eventually announce a second-generation iPad Air and new iPad mini, rumors have also suggested that the Cupertino company may be working on a refresh of its Apple TV and MacBook Air lineup.

iPad Air 2 May be Announced at Next Week's Event, Gold May be an Optional Color

If you have somehow missed the frenzied hype, Apple will be holding an event next Tuesday, September 9th, at the Flint Center for Performing Arts in Cupertino. The venue has almost four times the capacity of the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, where Apple typically announces new products, so this one is expected to be big. The obvious seat of honor will belong to the iPhone 6, but many analysts and amateurs alike expect a wearable device (popularly dubbed "iWatch") to be introduced as well. Now there are rumors that the next generation iPad Air may also make its first appearance.

Gold iPad Air 2

According to a research note written by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (obtained by AppleInsider), he believes the iPad Air 2 will debut on Tuesday alongside both iPhone 6 models (the 4.7" and the phablet size 5.5") and the iWatch. About iPads, he writes that only the iPad Air 2 will see significant upgrades in 2014, which implies that the next generation iPad mini may not launch this year as some expected.

Thinner iPad Air 2 With Improved Fingerprint Sensor Goes Into Production, According to Digitimes

While the world waits for the iPhone 6 and iWatch to be announced on September 9th, the supply chain is gearing up production for the next-generation iPad Air, according to the DigiTimes. The Taiwanese trade publication said "touch panel makers TPK and GIS are among some of the makers receiving orders from Apple," and that the iPad Air 2 "will remain unchanged in terms of size and resolution," but it will be "thinner". Previous leaks of purported iPad Air parts have also revealed that the new tablet will not feature any cosmetic changes worth getting excited about.

iPad Air 2

The iPad Air 2 is also expected to ship with the an improved version of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor found on the iPhone 5s. What "improved" means is still unknown at this time, but you can bet Apple will be pushing its Touch ID technology even harder after the alleged iCloud breach.

Higher Quality Images of Alleged iPad Air 2 Rear Shell Leaked

The French blog NowhereElse.fr has published higher quality images of an alleged iPad Air 2 rear shell. The images reveal the same changes, like a relocated microphone hole, as previous leaks. You can get a closer look at the image here.

iPad Air Rear Shell

It has pretty much been officially confirmed that Apple will announced two larger iPhone 6 models on September 9, but it is unclear when the next-generation iPad lineup will be revealed. Most people believe Apple will announce the iPad Air 2 and third-generation iPad mini sometime in 2014, and a larger 12.9-inch iPad in 2015. Apple is also expected to release its first wearable device dubbed the "iWatch" alongside the iPhone 6 in the fall.

Alleged iPad Air 2 Rear Shell Reveals New Design

There has been a serious lack of second-generation iPad 2 rumors, unlike the iPhone 6 which has had almost all of its components leaked online. Some alleged images of an iPad Air 2 dummy unit were posted in June, and now we have our first look at a purported second-generation rear shell. The images posted below were first spotted on China’s microblogging site Weibo on Sunday.

iPad Air 2 Rear Shell

The new images reveal a redesigned speaker grille and relocated microphone next to the camera lens. The volume buttons also seem "more recessed than before," according to Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate].

iPad Air 2, iPad mini Production Delayed

The consensus so far this year holds that Apple will be releasing the the iPad Air 2 and next generation iPad mini sometime before the end of the year. While this may still be true, the latest rumor claims that production of both devices has been delayed.

iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro

According to Chinese media, via G4Games, production of the two new iPads is being pushed back to September. It was previously thought that both would enter mass production in August. The phablet size 5.5" iPhone 6 is also being pushed back to September, which dispels rumors that it would launch alongside the 4.7" model in late September. The smaller model has reportedly already entered mass production. The delay supposedly comes due to "yield issues" within Apple's supply chain.

Next Gen iPads' A8 Processor Expected to be Much Faster than A7

With the iPhone 6 launch date quickly approaching, there has been much talk of Apple's new A8 processor, which analysts across the board expect to inhabit the new handset. If that is the case, then we can expect the next generation of iPads, including the iPad Air 2, iPad Pro and new iPad mini, to be equipped with it as well. This is no small detail, as the A8 apparently blows the A7 out of the water when it comes to speed.

A8 processor much faster than A7

According to Chinese site cnBeta, the A8 will surpass 2.0 GHz, perhaps reaching 2.6 GHz. Currently, the iPhone 5s and iPad mini with Retina display run at 1.3 GHz, while the iPad Air runs at 1.4 GHz. All three have the 64 bit A7 processor with the M7 motion coprocessor. If the A8 truly can reacha 2.6 GHz clock rate, the iPad Air 2 will be nearly twice as fast as the current generation.

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