Apple Said To Release iPad Air With A8 Processor And Touch ID This Year, iPad Pro In 2015

According to a new report from MacRumors and KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working on a new iPad Air with A8 Processor and will feature Touch ID fingerprint sensor which exist in Apple's iPhone 5s this year.

Kuo sees Apple updating the full-sized iPad this year with an A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and possibly a few other improvements. But as for a new iPad mini and the oft-rumored 12.9-inch iPad “pro,” he believes we wont see them until 2015…

MacRumors has Kuo’s research note:
“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.”
In his research note, Kuo also states that the 12.9-inch iPad will act as a driver in allowing developers to create more interactive apps for a bigger screen. However, the analyst notes that Apple has prioritized developing the operating system for the iWatch this year, with plans to release its smart watch in 2014. Kuo also predicts that Apple will restart mass production of the iPad 4 in Q1 2014 as Apple looks to wind down iPad 2 production after a three-year run, which was reported earlier this week. Overall, the analyst predicts the iPad shipments will fall from 34 million units in the 1st half of 2013 to below 30 million units in the first half of 2014.

So why delay these two products? Well Kuo believes that Apple will be focusing all of its resources on its smartwatch project this year, which he is still expecting to launch this fall. The company is also said to be preparing big updates for its iPhone and Apple TV lines.

This being said, the analyst is anticipating the eventual release of a 12.9-inch iPad. He thinks the larger tablet will fuel more interactive apps and games, and increase professional sales. Previous reports have suggested it could be aimed at enterprise or education.

Rounding out his predictions, Kuo backs the recent claim that Apple plans to wind down iPad 2 production soon, as sales begin to taper off. And he believes they’ll replace it by restarting mass production of the iPad 4, which has a Retina display and Lightning connector.

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