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Archive of iPad Rumors

Looking at Apple's quarterly SEC quarterly filing, Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley believes Apple's revenue is poised to explode in the coming quarters. Huberty based her prediction on increases in Apple's off-balance sheet commitments, which have a historical correlation with revenue growth.

Off-balance sheet commitments are those investments in components and services that are involved in the mass production and launch of new devices. These line items include component purchases, manufacturing process equipment investments, advertising, and other services. Huberty notes that Apple's total spending in these areas has climbed 46 percent yearly and 36 percent quarterly in fiscal Q3 2014, making last quarter's jump the largest spending increase since Apple first launched the iPhone in 2007.

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Huberty, not surprisingly, attributes this spending increase to Apple's iPhone 6 and iWatch wearable, both of which are expected to launch later this year. These new products, along with services such as mobile payments, could accelerate growth and boost margins.
Apple has the opportunity to take share in slower growth smartphone and tablet markets with larger screens and new services. New product categories like iWatch, and services like payments could further boost growth.
Apple is rumored to be launching its next-generation iPhone 6, refreshed iPad models and a new iWatch smartwatch later this year. The company may also update its Mac hardware to coincide with the debut of OS X Yosemite.
China media sources (via GforGames) report that mass production of Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone is underway ahead of the phone's expected fall launch. These same sources claim the 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6 has not entered mass production, further suggesting that the launch timeframe for this larger iPhone model is still uncertain.

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Besides the iPhone 6, Apple also is preparing the next-generation iPad Air and Retina iPad mini for mass production starting in September. Apple is expected to unveil its new iPads, possibly alongside the iWatch, at an October event that also will likely be used to announce the public release of OS X Yosemite.

As Apple prepares to launch new iPhones and iPads later this year, the company's Asian suppliers are gearing up to boost production by as much as 85 percent by Q4 2014. Some of this increased production may be handled by Foxconn robots, "Foxbots", with the company reportedly deploying as many as 10,000 robots at a cost of up to $25,000 each.

Anticipation for Apple's fall lineup of devices is high, fueled by comments from Apple executives that suggest the company will enter new product categories with a device lineup that is the best it has had in 25 years.
During today's earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared new information on the state of the iPad, including details on overall sales since the product launched a little over four years ago, recent growth in different markets, and hints at future plans. It was revealed earlier that sales of the iPad were down for the second straight quarter in a row, as the company sold a total of 13.3 million iPads, down from 14.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

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Cook said that iPad sales have totaled to 225 million units since 2010, as the current iPad Air and iPad mini have hit 98% and 100% customer satisfaction, respectively. According to recent market studies, 63% of customers planning to buy a tablet are planning to buy an iPad, while half of all iPad buyers were planning to buy their first iPad.

Additionally, Apple noted that 2.5 iPads are being sold for every Mac, as the tablet now holds an 85% share of the U.S. education market. Internationally, the iPad also experienced a 50% growth in China and 60% growth in the Middle East year-over-year.

In reaction to iPad sales being down, Cook noted "significant innovation can be brought to the iPad", stating "[Apple] plans on doing that" and that the tablet category as a whole is still "in its infancy." Recent reports have pointed to Apple launching updated models of the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini later this year, with each likely to come with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a faster A8 processor.

The company is also rumored to be preparing a larger "iPad Pro" which is said to feature a 12.9-inch ultra high-definition display. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the iPad Pro in 2015, but a recent report noted that Apple's plans may be on hold for the foreseeable feature.
Apple's iPad may be the cause of unexplained allergic rashes in children, reports The Washington Post, which cites a case study of an 11-year-old boy that was published in Pediatrics medical journal.

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The Pediatrics article focuses on an 11-year-old boy who may be allergic to the nickel used in the casing of the tablet device. Following the increasing use of an iPad, the patient developed a rash that would not respond to conventional treatment.
His skin tested positive for nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals, and doctors traced it back to an iPad he had used with increasing frequency the past six months. The iPad tested positive for nickel as well, according to the report.
Doctors advised the boy to use a Smart Case that covers the entire outer surface of the tablet. Similar to other reports of electronic device-induced rashes, the boy's skin condition improved significantly when he started using a case that prevented direct contact with the device.

As noted by the Associated Press, nickel allergies in children appear to be on the rise, with 25 percent of those receiving skin tests testing positive for nickel allergies, up from 17 percent a decade ago.

This iPad isn't the only device implicated in skin rashes. Earlier this year, Fitbit voluntarily recalled its Force fitness tracker after a growing number of users developed contact dermatitis from wearing the band. The rash was originally attributed to nickel in the charging port of the band, but that metal may not be involved as many users covered the nickel-containing port with tape and continued to experience a rash.

Update 3:00 PM PT: Apple has provided a statement to The Wall Street Journal noting that its products meet strict standards set for jewelry by the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission.
"Apple's products are made from the highest quality materials and meet the same strict standards set for jewelry by both the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission and their counterparts in Europe," Apple said.
iphone_5s_touch_idA report from China Times (via GforGames) claims Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is expanding its 8-inch chip plant in order to produce Touch ID sensors for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. TSMC is planning to produce 120 million Touch ID units in 2014, a 233 percent year over year increase as the sensor expands beyond the flagship iPhone to other iOS devices.

In line with a previous report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, today's report claims Apple and TSMC are using tin to increase the durability of the sensor compared to the current version found in the iPhone 5s.

Supply chain sources say TSMC is scaling its mass production of new Touch ID units to begin delivery to Apple by early July, with third quarter production more than doubling over the previous quarter. A previous report had indicated that the first shipments of new Touch ID sensors began by early May, but these may still have been early batches for testing.

Similar to the iPhone's Touch ID, the iPad version will support the expanded functionality made possible by iOS 8's new SDK that allows third-party apps to access the fingerprint scanner for verification purposes. Touch ID also is rumored to be part of a mobile payment system under development by Apple.

Recent leaks hint at how the next-generation iPad Air and iPad Mini may appear with a Touch ID module and other design refinements such as a changed speaker grille and recessed volume buttons.
Apple.club.tw shares an image of what appears to be models of the next generation iPhone, iPad Mini, and iPad Air.

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The iPhone 6 models have already been covered extensively, while we got the first glimpse of the purported iPad Air 2 just last week. The iPad Air 2 model was shown to depict Touch ID, changed speaker grille, and recessed volume buttons.

The new image doesn't reveal any more details except the depiction of Touch ID on the new iPad mini. This year's iPads have been widely expected to gain Touch ID capabilities. Apple first introduced the Touch ID fingerprint scanning system with the iPhone 5S, and will be extending it to allow Apps to begin using it with iOS 8.
While Apple is widely expected to expand use of its Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the iPad Air and iPad mini later this year, new photos of an alleged "perfect replica" of the second-generation iPad Air shared by Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] hint that there may be a few additional changes in store for the device.

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The replica, which is making the rounds in China and Japan, unsurprisingly depicts a Touch ID home button for the device, but also shows some tweaks to physical features around the edges of the device, including a new speaker grille with a single row of larger holes on each side of the Lightning port as opposed to the current double row of smaller holes on the iPad.

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Another difference lies in the volume buttons which are shown slightly recessed into the edge of the case, compared to the current design that sees buttons protruding slightly from a flush holes machines in the device's shell. Nowhereelse.fr mentions that the mute switch is also missing, although there is a small hole where the feature is usually located. Unfinished protoype and mockup parts sometimes feature these pilot holes to guide machining of the final hole.

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Updated iPads are expected to launch later this year, with October being Apple's usual timeframe for such launches over the past couple of years. The latter part of 2014 is expected to be a busy one for Apple, with rumors of launches for the iPhone 6, new iPads, the iWatch, and perhaps some Mac updates such as the company's rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook Air.
ipad_air_family_20136Displays for Apple's next-generation iPad Air are set to begin production this month, reports Korean site ETNews [Google Translation] (via AmongTech), with other major parts such as the camera module also set to enter production soon.

Apple's second iPad Air is expected to continue to feature the same featherweight design introduced with the first iPad Air, using the same 9.7-inch Retina LCD with a resolution of 2048 x 1536. LG Display will begin production on the displays in June, with Samsung and Sharp ramping up production next month.

Though the next-generation iPad Air will not see any design changes, it may see some hardware improvements in the form of an upgraded 8-megapixel rear camera, an improvement over the current 5-megapixel camera. It may incorporate the same 8-megapixel camera used in the iPhone 5s, which also includes a larger sensor for improved low-light performance. iOS 8 will also bring photography updates to both Apple's existing and next-generation iPad Airs, in the form of new panoramic and time-lapse modes.

Along with a better camera, the iPad Air is unsurprisingly expected to include an upgraded A8 processor to improve both performance and battery life and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor first introduced with the iPhone 5s.

It is unclear when Apple plans to release its second-generation iPad Air, but rumors have pointed towards a release in September or October, which would be in line with previous iPad releases. Apple's Retina iPad mini is expected to be updated at the same time, featuring many of the same improvements.
Building on the success of its wireless Stratus controller, SteelSeries today introduced the Stratus XL, a full-sized gaming controller for the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Similar to its pocket-sized counterpart, the Stratus XL connects to your iOS device wirelessly through Bluetooth instead of the Lightning port.

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The Stratus XL features a larger, console controller-inspired design that provides room for two analog joysticks, a pressure-sensitive directional pad (D-pad), 4 pressure-sensitive action buttons and 4 shoulder buttons that include two trigger buttons.
"We have been working for well over a year now on perfecting the wireless controller experience for iOS devices. We have been incredibly impressed by the way the SteelSeries Stratus has been received by consumers so far and we are looking forward to introducing the Stratus XL to the iOS gaming community – who have been asking for a full-sized controller option," said Tino Soelberg, SteelSeries CTO. "The Stratus XL was designed to meet their demands, delivered with the premium features and top-to-bottom quality expected from SteelSeries."
The Stratus XL will support the same iOS 7 games as the original Stratus including Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Bastion and more. The large format controller will debut later this year at a price that is yet to be announced. Customers can visit the Stratus XL product page and sign up to be notified when the product availability date and pricing are confirmed.
With the release of Xcode 6 today after Worldwide Developer Conference, developers have found an option within Xcode to size apps for devices referred to as "Resizable iPhone" and "Resizable iPad", as pointed out by Mac4Ever [Google Translate]. The option is next to other Apple devices, including iPad Air, iPhone 5s, and iPad Retina.

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The options are likely to enable developers to start developing apps that fit on the rumored larger 4.7 and 5.5 inch screens of the iPhone 6 and, perhaps, the rumored 12-inch iPad Pro. Another photo of the Xcode simulator shows the difference between an app visually optimized for an older iPhone in what appears to be the resolution for one of the two iPhone 6 models.

It's not yet known what the exact resolutions are for the 4.7 and 5.5 inch iPhone 6 models or even the rumored 12-inch iPad Pro, but the "resizable" functionality would allow developers to explore building versions of their apps for larger screens that are currently available.
Apple has introduced reduced education pricing for the iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini, offering both tablets at starting prices of $469 and $379, reports iGeneration (Google Translate).

With both iPads still showing a standard retail price starting at $499 and $399, the new education pricing totals to a $30 discount on the iPad Air and $20 discount on the Retina iPad mini and marks the first time that Apple has included the iPad in the special program. Apple is also offering special education pricing on the first-generation iPad mini and the fourth-generation iPad, as well as deals on refurbished previous generation iPads.

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Apple previously cut education pricing on the non-Retina 13-Inch MacBook Pro to $999 last year, and also offers discounts on the entire Mac line in its education store. The discounted education pricing is available to employees of K-12 schools as well as faculty, staff, students, and parents of students at higher education institutions.
Apple announced today that it will begin offering the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini on Japanese carrier NTT DOCOMO starting Tuesday, June 10. Both tablets will be compatible with the company's nationwide Xi LTE service, as users will be able to pre-register for both devices beginning June 2nd at local DOCOMO stores and the carrier's website.
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"With the addition of iPad alongside iPhone, we now offer the complete lineup of Japan’s most popular mobile devices on the nation’s most reliable LTE network," said Kaoru Kato, President and CEO of NTT DOCOMO, INC. "We know our customers will enjoy using iPad Air and iPad mini, and anticipate that new customers will look to experience these amazing devices on our high-quality network with our new billing plan."

"We are extremely happy for iPad to join iPhone on NTT DOCOMO’s network," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "The results on iPhone have been tremendous, and we look forward to delivering iPad to NTT DOCOMO customers."
The iPad Air and Retina iPad mini were originally launched in Japan and a number of other countries last fall. The move also follows the launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on the carrier last September, marking the first time that Apple's phones were offered on DOCOMO. Since then, Apple has seen its share of the Japanese mobile phone market rise above 36%, with the iPhone accounting for more than 40% of phone sales on the carrier.
A new research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that Apple will include Touch ID across all new iOS devices in 2014, boosting shipments and bringing the fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. The report reiterates previous claims made by Kuo last month, which noted that Apple's next-generation iPads will feature Touch ID upon their releases this fall.

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Apple’s Touch ID module should see shipments soar 233% in 2014. We believe every new iOS device launched this year will be equipped with Touch ID, including 4.7” and 5.5” new iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 2 with Retina display. Considering shipments of new products and iPhone 5S sales last longer than in 2013, we forecast unit sales of the fingerprint sensor module to grow 233% to 120mn for 2014.
Kuo also notes that Apple will change its Touch ID module design to utilize tin over previously used chemicals to enhance durability. Apple is also expected to stick with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and its subsidary XinTec to produce the fingerprint sensors.

Last month, it was noted that TSMC provided the first batch of fingerprint sensors for the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. A report in January noted that TSMC would begin production on the sensors sometime in the second quarter of this year with a new 12-inch fab processing method, however a report in February stated that TSMC would be using the same 8-inch fingerprint sensor processing method used for the iPhone 5s.

Improved shipments of Touch ID will also likely help launch supplies of all three devices, as low yield rates of the component was said to be a key factor contributing to the limited supplies of the iPhone 5s at its launch last September.
Apple has debuted two new video ads for its "Your Verse" iPad Air campaign that showcases the tablet being used in a variety of situations. The pair of ads profile Esa-Pekka Salonen, a Finnish conductor who composes music with the iPad Air, and travel blogger Chérie King, who uses various apps to map her journeys and translate foreign languages on the fly.


Salonen's Your Verse ad
displays the musician taking a simple musical concept and developing it into a full composition, using apps such as Touch Press' The Orchestra and Notion to sound out various instruments. The composer is also seen using Pianist Pro, which is shown being used before a whole orchestra plays a musical piece.


Meanwhile, King's one-minute spot shows the writer traveling to various places including Morocco and Vietnam while using the iPad Air in a number of ways. Apps such as Wordpress, Facebook, and Twitter are shown being used to record the journey, while Triposo and iTranslate are used to find popular destinations and translate foreign languages in real time, respectively.

As with the other Your Verse ads, both videos have corresponding sections on Apple's website which go into details about the stories of both individuals and how the iPad Air has helped.

Apple debuted its initial Your Verse iPad ad in January alongside a corresponding website that shares a number of experiences. Other stories have noted the iPad's use in mountaineering, sports, choreography, oceanography, and more.
iapd-recycling-UKApple today is expanding its iPad trade-in program to retail stores in several European countries, including France, Germany, Spain, and the UK. As spotted by Apfelpage.de and iPhoneAddict.fr, the program allows customers to recycle older iPad models at their local Apple retail stores and provides them with credits they can use towards the purchase of new devices.

Apple launched the iPad program last month in the U.S. and Canada on Earth Day as part of a larger green initiative to help consumers recycle old iOS devices. Customers can visit Apple retail stores and trade in their iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPad mini for store credit. The newer iPad Air and Retina iPad mini are not yet eligible for redemption.

The company has not revealed how much it will pay for these recycled devices in its international stores, but the pricing likely mirrors the existing trade-in program available in the U.S., with reduced prices for older devices and those in poor physical condition. Though not confirmed, Apple also may accept broken and non-working devices for free, providing a way for customers to responsibly recycle these devices.

The iPad program is similar to an existing in-store iPhone recycling program that debuted in the U.S. last August before expanding to the UK a few months later and several more European countries and Canada last month.
A model said to be an industrial prototype of the upcoming 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" has surfaced, giving a look at what the larger tablet might look like in-hand. Discovered on Chinese Twitter-like site Weibo by Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translation] the machined aluminum is said to be a reference for creating cases and other accessories.

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The design of the mockup is very rudimentary and while it is said to be the iPad Pro, it is impossible to determine the exact size of the prototype from the photos. It is also not clear if this "prototype" is based on any type of legitimate specifications as Apple is said to be multiple months away from releasing a larger tablet. Along with a larger size, the model also has an Apple logo and a rear camera cutout. At 12.9-inches, the iPad Pro would be similar in size to a 13-inch MacBook Air and quite a bit larger than the existing 9.7-inch iPad Air.

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Rendering of a 12.9-inch iPad next to a 13-inch MacBook Air

News that Apple was testing displays for a larger 12.9-inch iPad first surfaced in July of last year in a report from The Wall Street Journal. While initial rumors suggested Apple could release the device in 2014, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has pointed towards a possible 2015 launch date for the device, while Digitimes indicated in March that development on the tablet had been shelved in favor of other projects.

Rumors have suggested the iPad Pro, if released, will adopt many of the same design elements offered in the current iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, including an ultrathin chassis and narrow side bezels. It is also rumored to include an ultra high-definition display.
Apple may advance the functionality of the iPad by adding a new split-screen multitasking feature to the tablet in iOS 8, reports 9to5Mac. The option would allow iPad owners to use two apps simultaneously on a single screen in landscape mode, a function frequently touted by Microsoft as an advantage for its Surface tablets over the iPad.


Previous concept for split-screen multitasking (not based on specific rumors)

Besides allowing the operation of multiple apps at the same time, the feature also may allow users to share data such as links and images between apps. The integration of this sharing functionality suggests Apple may open up support for XPC services in iOS, making it easier for developers to share content between apps.
In addition to allowing for two iPad apps to be used at the same time, the feature is designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, according to the sources. For example, a user may be able to drag content, such as text, video, or images, from one app to another. Apple is said to be developing capabilities for developers to be able to design their apps to interact with each other.
The multitasking feature, which is said to work in landscape mode only, is likely to land in the 9.7-inch iPad, with its extension to the smaller iPad mini unclear at this time. It may also be a critical feature for the rumored iPad Pro, which may ship sometime in 2015 with a 12-inch display.
According to a new report from market research firm DisplaySearch (via CNET and ZDNet Korea), Samsung claimed the top spot as Apple's biggest iPad display panel supplier in the first quarter of 2014, shipping 5.2 million units of the high resolution 9.7-inch panels that were used in the iPad Air and the reintroduced 4th generation iPad.

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Samsung's panels accounted for 62% of Apple's 9.7-inch displays, while longtime partner LG Display shipped 3.2 million displays to account for 38% of the total. Apple was said to have chosen Samsung as a primary iPad display supplier last August, and reportedly turned to the Korean company in October to produce displays for the Retina iPad mini as Sharp and LG Display struggled with low yields.

Apple has been reported for quite some time to be seeking to reduce its reliance on Samsung as a component supplier due to tensions between the two companies as they have become top competitors in the mobile device market. However, Samsung's technological advantages and production capacity as a display supplier have proven valuable to Apple's needs over the years, as the two companies are likely to continue that partnership for the foreseeable future.
Apple reclaimed its spot as the highest ranked tablet manufacturer in J.D. Power's latest U.S. tablet customer satisfaction study. Apple earned a 5-star rating and scored 830 on a 1,000 point scale, edging out Samsung, which scored a second place 822.
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The survey of 2,513 tablet owners found that Apple led its competitors in four of the five measured categories, including performance, ease of operation, features and styling and design. Apple trailed only in cost, which isn't surprising given the starting $299 price tag of Apple's iPad lineup. Number two Samsung ranked above-average in features, styling and design, and cost.

All is not rosy in the tablet market, however, with overall satisfaction among tablet owners on the decline, dropping 18 points to 835 in 2014 from a high of 853 in 2012. Ease of operation was the feature that showed the largest drop in satisfaction, with tablets taking longer to setup and becoming more complicated to use.
“Since the inaugural U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study in 2012, a number of new tablet OEMs have entered the U.S. marketplace, differentiating themselves to satisfy a growing interest in owning a tablet,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power. “Price has significantly impacted the marketplace. The average purchase price continues to drop and consumer expectations of tablet performance and features are different than they were for past products. Subsequently, overall satisfaction has declined, especially with ease of operation, as navigation features and functions have changed.”
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Not surprisingly, the most important feature cited by consumers when buying a tablet was cost, followed by features and brand reputation. Brand recognition is becoming increasingly important to consumers, beating out both manufacturer websites and personal recommendations as the reasons why they select a particular brand.
Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has reportedly provided the first batch of Touch ID fingerprint sensors to be used in the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, according to a new report from component information website cecb2b.com citing supply chain sources (Google Translate, via GforGames).

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In addition to production at TSMC, the report notes that the fingerprint sensors are being assembled by TSMC subsidiaries Xintec and Suzhou Crystal Semiconductor. A report in January noted that TSMC would begin production on the sensors sometime in the second quarter of this year with a new 12-inch fab processing method, however a report in February stated that TSMC would be using the same 8-inch fingerprint sensor processing method that was used for the iPhone 5s.

The inclusion of Touch ID on the next-generation iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini would also fall in line with predictions from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who noted that both devices would gain the feature alongside processor upgrades and various other improvements.

Apple's head start on Touch ID fingerprint sensor production will likely help the launch supplies of all three devices. The component was said to be a key factor contributing to the limited supplies of the iPhone 5s at its launch last September, with low yield rates at Xintec and iOS 7-sensor integration slowing production.