iPad Air 2

Apple Rumor Roundup: 12-inch MacBook Air, iPad Air 2 and Two iPhone 6 Models

It is that time of year again when all eyes are on Apple's next-generation products, and rumors of iWatches and larger iPhones are running rampant. Several reliable and hit-or-miss sources have confirmed that Apple plans to release a slew of new products later this year. Here's a quick look at those rumors.

MacBook Air

MacBook Air - Production of a 12-inch MacBook Air will begin in Q3 of 2013, according to the Digitimes. Upstream supply chain sources say Apple is releasing a 12-inch model because "its 11-inch model has a screen size similar to its iPad' and increasing sales of Apple's tablet "are impacting MacBook demand". Apple believes a 12-inch MacBook Air would create a boundary between its 9-inch tablet lineup, and MacBook Air products. The new MacBook will feature some internal redesigns but it will resemble its predecessors externally .

Don't Expect Too Much From the New iPad Air

Apple is reportedly starting production on its second iPad Air this month, and some casual fans might find it a little boring. The sixth-generation iPad will feature the same design and display resolution (2048 x 1536) as its predecessor, according to ETNews. The report also makes no mention of Touch ID, but other sources still believe the fingerprint sensor will be Apple's biggest selling point for its new tablet.

iPad Air 2

The iPad Air 2 is expected to feature Apple's new A8 processor, which is rumored to improve battery performance, an improved 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and that's about it. Apple is also purportedly working on a third-generation iPad mini with similar improvements. Both tablets are expected to launch sometime this fall.

iPad Air 2 Front Panel Shows Thinner Design

Thinner, faster, lighter has been the mantra spoken with each iPad hardware update. The successor to the iPad Air is no different, with analysts predicting an A8 processor and Touch ID in Apple's next full-size tablet. Now a parts leak purported to show the front bezel assembly of the iPad Air 2 looks to confirm an integrated LCD panel.

iPad Air 2 parts

Apple currently uses this technology on the iPhone 5s, which fuses the front panel and display components into one part. Not only does this configuration shave off device thickness, but the integrated LCD can improve image display quality. Both the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display have separate front panel and display components, making this a key area for improvement on the next generation iPad Air 2.

Apple to Release iPad Air 2 With A8 Processor This Year, 12.9" iPad Pro in 2015

According to a research note written by KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo and obtained by AppleInsider, an updated iPad will be out later this year in the form of the iPad Air 2, and a new, 12.9" iPad Pro will launch some time in 2015.

iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro

Ming-Chi, who is known for having accurate predictions regarding Apple products, writes that the iPad Air 2 should be released some time late in the third quarter of 2014 rather than early Q4, as was previously thought. The new iPad will include an A8 processor, manufactured for Apple by TSMC. It will also have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the rear camera will be upgraded to 8 MP.

Analyst Predicts No New iPad mini or 12-Inch iPad in 2014

"Tepid" sales and the long rumored iWatch could push the iPad mini 3 and Apple's 12-inch "iPad Pro" to the back burner in 2014. KGI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple will only concentrate and launch a second-generation iPad Air this year. Kuo says the new tablet will most likely feature Apple's updated A8 processor, Touch ID and a few minor improvements. The rumored 12.9-inch iPad will also be released in limited supply in 2015, according to Kuo's note obtained by Mac Rumors.

iPad Air 2

"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. We believe Apple plans to launch upgraded iPad Air early this year, and will accelerate development of 12.9” iPad. 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” 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."

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