Archive of iPad Rumors

Apple has begun accepting online pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 in the United States and several other countries around the world. Rumors have suggested that initial supplies of the iPad Air 2 might be somewhat constrained, so prospective buyers should make their purchases as soon as possible. All models are currently showing shipping estimates of 2-4 business days in the U.S. store.

AT&T is also accepting pre-orders on cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 with shipping estimates of 6-10 business days.

Announced on October 16, Apple’s second-generation iPad Air offers several significant improvements over the original iPad Air, including a thinner design, an A8X chip, Touch ID, 802.11ac, support for LTE Advanced, an improved 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture, and an anti-reflective screen coating that cuts down on glare.

The iPad mini 3 offers the same internals as the iPad mini 2 (aka the iPad mini with Retina display), but it does come with Touch ID and a new gold color option.

ipadair2ipadmini3
Available in white/silver, white/gold, and black/space gray, the iPad Air 2 is available in 16, 64, and 128GB configurations, with the Wi-Fi only models priced at $499, $599, and $699, respectively. Wi-Fi + Cellular models carry a $130 premium over Wi-Fi models and are priced at $629/$729/$829 for 16/64/128GB capacities.

The iPad mini 3 is also available in white/silver, white/gold, and black/space gray, and it also comes in 16, 64, and 128GB configurations. The corresponding Wi-Fi only models are priced at $399, $499, and $599, while the Wi-Fi + Cellular models are priced at $529, $629, and $729 for 16, 64, and 128GB configurations.

Both models can be pre-ordered immediately from Apple's online store. The company has not yet provided information on when the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Air 2 will be available in stores, giving an availability date of "later next week."
Apple has taken its online store down to prepare for the launch of iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 pre-orders. When Apple announced the two new tablets, it said pre-orders would be available starting on October 17, although the company did not specify when exactly pre-orders would start.

Given the short amount of time between the announcement of the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 and the start of pre-orders, it is unclear whether other retailers and carriers will be prepared to offer iPad pre-orders.

ipadmini3ipadair2comparison
Apple's iPad Air 2, which includes several upgrades like Touch ID, an A8X chip, an improved camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and an anti-reflective screen, is available in 16, 64, and 128GB capacities. Pricing in the United States starts at $499 for the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model and goes as high as $849 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB model.

The iPad mini 3, which has been updated with Touch ID and a new gold color option, is also available in 16, 64, and 128GB configurations. Pricing for the iPad mini 3 begins at $399 for the Wi-Fi only 16GB model and goes as high as $729 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB model.

Apple has not announced when the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 will be in stores or when the two tablets will begin shipping out to customers, giving only an availability date of "later next week."
Historically, users purchasing cellular versions of iPads have had to choose their carrier at the time of purchase, with Apple shipping a device specifically configured for use on that carrier. But with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, Apple is launching a new "Apple SIM" included with devices purchased in the United States and United Kingdom.

For U.S. users in particular, the Apple SIM allows users to easily move among AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint by taking advantage of short-term data plans as needed. And with EE participating in the UK, even access while abroad is simplified. And of course the system should work equally well for UK customers traveling abroad to the United States.

ipad_air_2_apple_sim
Apple outlines the Apple SIM on its iPad Air 2 wireless feature page:
One SIM. Many options.

The new Apple SIM is preinstalled on iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models. The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you — with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.
Apple notes in an explanatory pop up on its iPad Air 2 store page that Verizon is not a participating carrier and Verizon customers will need to visit Verizon stores to activate cellular service on their devices.
At today's media event, Apple introduced the all new iPad Air 2. The second-generation tablet features an ultra thin profile that's just 6.1mm thick, much thinner than the 7.5mm original iPad Air. The significantly thinner design was enabled through the use of a gapless laminated display panel that also produces sharper images. In addition to a thinner chassis, the new iPad Air also includes a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a faster A8X processor, a new 8-megapixel iSight camera, and an anti-reflective coating that reduces glare by up to 56 percent.

ipadair21
According to Apple, the iPad Air 2 is 18 percent thinner than the first-generation iPad Air and its A8X chip features a 2nd-generation 64-bit architecture which is 40% faster than the A7 used in the first iPad Air in terms of CPU performance up to 2.5x faster when it comes to GPU performance. Like its predecessors, the iPad Air 2 gets 10 hours of battery life and it also includes an M8 motion coprocessor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and an all-new barometer that senses air pressure to determine relative elevation.

ipadair22
Apple has added a Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the iPad Air 2, which was said to be the "most requested feature from customers." With Touch ID, iPad Air 2 owners can use their tablets to make Apple Pay purchases within apps that support the Apple Pay API. The iPad Air 2 does not have NFC support and thus cannot be used to make purchases in retail stores.

The iPad Air 2 has gained 802.11ac Wi-Fi with multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) capabilities. Apple states that the iPad Air 2 contains 2.8x faster performance with support for speeds up to 866 Mbps on Wi-Fi and now contains 20 LTE bands for faster LTE with support for speeds up to 150 Mbps via LTE Advanced.

ipadair24
Apple has also included a new 8-megapixel iSight camera on the iPad Air 2, which features an f/2.4 aperture and can record 1080p HD video. For the first time, the camera can take 43 megapixel panoramas and burst mode photos, and it is also able to shoot time lapse and 120 FPS Slo-Mo video. The front-facing FaceTime camera on the iPad Air 2 has also been improved, with an f/2.2 aperture that lets in 81 percent more light. It lets users take burst mode selfies, single-shot HDR photos, and HDR videos.

Pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 will begin on Friday, October 17, and the tablet will begin shipping at the end of next week. Available in gold, silver, and space gray, the iPad Air 2 is available with 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage capacities, priced at $499, $599, and $699, respectively, for the Wi-Fi models. Cellular models are also available and are priced $130 higher, at $529, $629, and $729.
Apple appears to have mistakenly updated its iPad User Guide for iOS 8 [Direct Link] with screenshots that divulge details on the company's upcoming iPad updates. The screenshots, designed for Apple's iOS 8.1 update to the User Guide, suggest new iPads referred to as the "iPad mini 3" and the "iPad Air 2" are coming tomorrow.

ipad_air_2_mini_3boxes
Both tablets are confirmed to have Touch ID support in the guide and the design of the two tablets appears to be largely the same as the existing versions. Rumors have suggested the second-generation iPad Air may be thinner than the original version due to new integrated display, but that is not clear from the screenshots.

The iPad Air 2 has also been rumored to include a design that does away with the mute switch, but a rear-facing screenshot is not available to confirm that particular design change. The new mini will, however, continue to have a mute switch. Information included within the guide suggests the iPad Air 2 will be receiving an improved camera with support for Burst Mode images.

ipad_air_2_burst
Apple will introduce the next-generation iPad Air and Retina iPad mini tomorrow, at an event held on its Cupertino campus. Along with Touch ID, the iPad Air is said to be gaining an A8X processor, a new anti-reflective display, and a gold color option. It is unclear if the iPad mini will receive updates beyond Touch ID support as rumors have suggested Apple is aiming to focus on its larger, more popular tablet.

Update 11:45 AM: Apple has reverted the screenshots on the listing to match the currently available iOS 8 version of the guide.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has landed the contract to produce Apple's A8X chip that will be featured in the company's forthcoming 12.9-inch iPad, according to Digitimes. The report notes that the processors will be intended for "Apple's next-generation iPad to be released in early 2015," and lines up with a report earlier year from Taiwan's TechNews which shared similar details.

logicboarda8x
Apple's A8X chip as seen on a supposed logic board for the iPad Air 2

Sources close to the production of the A8X also state that the chip is being manufactured with the same 20-nanometer process used for the A8 chip that is found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. However, the report also notes that the A8X's bigger system-on-a-chip may create potential yield rate issues for TSMC.

Recent part leaks have indicated that the A8X chip will likely debut with the iPad Air 2, which is expected to be unveiled alongside the next-generation Retina iPad mini at an event this Thursday.

It is unknown as to whether the company will also unveil the 12.9-inch iPad at the event, however the The Wall Street Journal noted that Apple was delaying mass production of the 12.9-inch iPad to deal with strong iPhone 6 Plus demand. A report from Bloomberg in August also claimed that the 12.9-inch iPad would be launching in 2015.

Update: While the report was presumed to be referring to the rumored 12.9-inch iPad based on the expectation the device will be "released in early 2015", it is possible it could actually be referring to the second-generation iPad Air, which is all but confirmed to be unveiled tomorrow and has already been seen to carry the A8X chip in leaked logic board photos.
Just about a day before Apple's October 16 media event, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report, saying that he expects supplies of iPad Air 2s to be constrained. His report also suggests that the 27-inch Retina Display iMac will have shipments begin before the end of the year and reiterates that the new iPad minis won't be a significant upgrade.

apple_oct_2014_invite_large
Of the new products, we think the market will be more interested in iPad Air 2. However, as the poor yield rate of anti-reflective coating cover lens has delayed mass production, we estimate 2014 shipments of iPad Air 2 of 7- 9mn units, lower than the 12mn units of the then-new iPad Air shipments in 2013. We thus expect iPad Air 2 to contribute less to the supply chain than iPad Air did last year. We also don’t expect the event to boost supply chain shares much.
Kuo goes on to once again suggest that a significant update to the iPad mini isn't likely due to the iPad Air's larger "contribution to Apple's sales and earnings" and that iPad mini is seeing limited development resources because Apple is working on a brand-new 12.9-inch iPad.

The 27-inch Retina Display iMac is likely to begin shipments before the end of 2014, with the 21-inch Retina Display arriving sometime in the second half of 2015. The delay between the two models, Kuo suggests, is because of how difficult it is to develop two different sized high resolution panels at the same time.

Finally, Kuo corroborates reports that new MacBook models will not make an appearance at the October 16 event as Apple is waiting on Intel's Broadwell chips before significantly upgrading its laptop line. This includes the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air.

Apple is holding its press event this Thursday, October 16 at 10:00 AM PT on its Cupertino campus. Besides new iPads and iMacs, Apple is also expected to announce the public launch date for OS X Yosemite. MacRumors will provide live coverage of the event.
With Apple's October media event coming up later this week, the company has reportedly already begun shipping mass quantities of new product into the U.S. and appears to be setting up for a Friday, October 24 availability date, according to a source that has provided accurate information to MacRumors in the past.

The specific product being shipped was not identified by the source, but it likely is Apple's rumored upcoming iPad, though it is not clear which model -- the iPad Air 2, the Retina iPad mini 2, or both -- is being transported.

ipad_air_touch_id_mockup
Physical mockup of iPad Air 2 with Touch ID

The timing would be consistent with Apple's usual strategy for such launches, coming just over a week after the product's introduction. With the exception of major new category products like the Apple Watch or those for which there are severe production constraints, Apple typically unveils a product and ships it within a short period of time if not on the same day. Last year, Apple announced the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini on October 22 and launched the iPad Air on November 1, with the Retina iPad mini landing a few weeks later due to short supplies.

Based on these shipping estimates, Apple likely will announce its new iPad Air 2 and possibly an updated Retina iPad mini on Thursday with a target launch date of October 24. There is no word yet on the possibility of pre-orders, but if Apple does offer a pre-order period, it will likely start very soon after the event in order to allow shipments to be positioned for delivery on launch day.
While the second-generation iPad Air has been the subject of a number of rumors ahead of its expected unveiling this Thursday, there has been less information about the Retina iPad mini, which is currently more or less identical to its larger sibling with the exception of display size.

Apple has generally been assumed to be planning a parallel upgrade for the iPad mini this month, but an early September report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expressed some uncertainty, saying the iPad mini would receive only a minor upgrade such as Touch ID, "if any", this year. Kuo's report was followed by another from Taiwanese media claiming the Retina iPad mini 2 was likely to launch early in 2015 ahead of the rumored 12.9-inch "iPad Pro".

But now a new report from Mac Otakara [Google Translate] claims the second-generation Retina iPad mini does indeed appear set for an introduction alongside the iPad Air at this Thursday's press event.

retina_ipad_mini_colors_front_back
As part of this introduction, Apple also may update its Smart Cover and Smart Case lineup with new colors and a tweaked design compatible with these new tablets.

While leaked iPad Air 2 components have been abundant, details on the upcoming Retina iPad mini 2 have been sparse, with a few reports claiming the device will receive only a modest upgrade as compared to the flagship iPad Air 2. The Retina iPad mini 2 is rumored to include only a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the A8 processor, as compared to the iPad Air 2, which may ship with a more powerful A8X processor, 2GB of RAM, Touch ID, a new gold color option, and more.

Apple is holding its press event this Thursday, October 16 at 10:00 AM PT on its Cupertino campus. Besides a new iPad Air and Retina iPad mini 2, the company also is expected to introduce new iMacs as well as unveil the launch date for the final version of OS X Yosemite.
A fairly clear image of what is said to be the logic board for the second-generation iPad Air suggests that the device will indeed come with an A8X chip, as hinted at in earlier images shared over the weekend.

Furthermore, the new image published by Apple.club.tw [Google Translate] seems to point towards 2GB of RAM for the device. Though the image of the RAM on the logic board is low resolution and fuzzy, enhancing the contrast and the brightness reveals a bit of information about the numbers on the chip. While the first letter is entirely blurred, it is the second character that is key to determining whether the chip is 1GB or 2GB.

logicboarda8x
A 1GB Elpida chip would have an "8" in the second character slot, while a 2GB chip would have an "A" in the same spot. Because of the quality of the image, it is difficult to say for certain what the character is, but it does appear to be an "A" rather than an "8" given that it is narrower at the top and wider at the bottom.

ram
Multiple rumors have suggested that Apple will double the memory in the second-generation iPad Air, which would give it the power to support split-screen multitasking. Last week, an image depicting a 2GB Elpida RAM module surfaced, and it appears that photo showed a set of the same chips seen in the logic board.

Apple has stuck to 1GB of RAM for several generations of devices, including the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, but Apple may have big plans in mind for the second-generation iPad Air 2 as it also appears to be gaining an A8X chip.

While Apple used an A6X chip in the fourth-generation iPad, the iPad Air used the same A7 chip as the iPhone 5s clocked at a higher speed. The company was widely expected to utilize the same strategy in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus for the iPad Air 2, but a faster A8X chip may have been utilized to power features like split-screen multitasking. There have also been some rumors of a "Retina HD" resolution for an upcoming iPad, which would likely require a more powerful chip.

Along with 2GB of RAM and an A8X processor, the logic board image appears to depict a 16GB Hynix flash module (denoted by the "TDG" characters on the chip), suggesting that the second-generation iPad Air will continue to be offered with 16GB of storage at the low end. It's possible Apple could do what it did for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, offering a 16GB solution along with 64 and 128GB options, doing away with the 32GB tier of storage space and sliding the 64 and 128GB tiers down $100 from their current levels.

logicboardmemory
Apple is expected to unveil the second-generation iPad Air at a media event that it is holding this Thursday on its Cupertino campus. The event may also see the debut of Retina iMacs and another preview of OS X Yosemite ahead of its public release.
Apple.club.tw (Google Translate) has shared new images that appear to show a variety of components from the iPad Air 2, which include pictures of the logic board, home button flex cable, front panel, and volume control flex cable.

ipadair2ac1
The home button flex cable appears to contain a space for a Touch ID home button, complete with the stainless steel ring. Previous reports claimed that Apple's forthcoming iPads would receive Touch ID functionality, and these newest pictures likely confirm that the feature will at least be on the iPad Air 2.

ipadair2ac2
Meanwhile, the logic board image also shows what may be Apple's A8 processor along with RAM chips and other components. Currently, it is unknown as to whether the A8 chip on the iPad Air 2 will be clocked at a higher speed than the A8 chips found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The logic board also appears to contain a noticeably different layout when compared to the board from last year's iPad Air. For instance, the SIM slot appears to be directly on iPad Air 2's logic board, while the component was located in a separate compartment for the iPad Air.

ipadair2ac4
The front panel of the iPad Air 2 contains a more prolonged connector on its side and contains cutouts for the Touch ID home button and FaceTime HD camera. While the panel doesn't appear to be notably different when compared to the front panel for the iPad Air, some reports have claimed that the iPad Air will have an integrated display to make way for a thinner profile. Lastly, the volume control flex cable shows the up and down volume buttons and what may be a microphone. With this layout, it is possible that Apple may be getting rid of the mute/screen rotation switch to further reduce the tablet's overall thickness.

ipadair2ac5
Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Air 2 alongside the next-generation Retina iPad mini at a media event in Cupertino, California next Thursday, October 16. Other reports have also claimed that the company will announce updated Mac Minis and updated iMacs with at least the 27-inch model carrying a high-resolution Retina display.

Update 5:26 AM: As shown by forum user primordian, enhancing the contrast on the main chip reveals it to be labeled as an A8X. Apple has traditionally used "X" versions of its main chips with enhanced graphics for its iPads, but the company abandoned that strategy with the first-generation iPad Air, opting to use a regular A7 chip with the only difference being that it was clocked slightly faster than the version found in the iPhone 5s and Retina iPad mini.

ipad_air_2_a8x