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New iPad rumor rollup for week ending April 23

John Cox | April 25, 2014
iPad rumors have been rare for months, but April showers seemed to have caused them to burst into bloom.

"In the pictures, the glass front of the iPad to see which is dimensionally identical to that of the [existing?] iPad," according to OMT, via Google Translate. "However, the connectors located in the back in a different place. More importantly, however, is that the LCD layer is already in the glass. That is the current iPads not the case."

An overall thinner display means that "Apple would then also be able to choose to use more battery power," according to the optimistic authors at OMT.

iPad Air 2, Retina iPad mini 2 to have Touch ID fingerprint sensor

Earlier this month, the indomitable Ming Chi Kuo, stock analyst with KGI Securities boldly predicted that the 2014 iPad models will feature a home button with the integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor introduced in the iPhone 5s.

Kuo, as usual, made his predictions in a Note To Investors, which was picked up and replicated through the iOSphere by sites like MacRumors. Richard Padilla's post on the Note included a quote from the Note: "We think the upgraded iPad Air will be launched earlier in 2014 than the iPad Air was in 2013. The biggest changes will be A8 processor, Touch ID (fingerprint recognition), and main camera resolution of 8MP."

If this proves to be the case, be prepared for the inevitable commentary that points to these incremental upgrades as yet more proof that Apple is losing the Innovation Battle. [For the specific speculation on the A8, see below.]

Kuo, in a move that ought but will not introduce a sense of humility in Rumor said, went on to say that he'd made a mistake. "We previously thought Apple would not release a new version of the iPad mini this year, but we now think Apple will launch an upgraded version with same form factor, A8 processor and Touch ID (fingerprint recognition) to boost shipments of iPad mini with Retina display."

It would be odd if Apple launched an upgraded version to decrease shipment of a product.

Padilla summarizes some of Kuo's other predictions: iPad Air 2 will launch before November 2014; that Apple will cut the price of the existing Retina iPad mini; and that Apple is "actively working" on the mythical 12.9-inch iPad, "gearing it towards uses in entertainment and productivity," but it won't appear until 2015.

Next iPads to have A8 chip which will be, like, awesome

Kuo's passing reference to the A8 sparked a separate wave of commentary on this next iteration of the Apple-designed system-on-chip, based on the ARM Ltd instruction set.

Apple surprised rivals and pundits alike in September 2013, when it introduced for the iPhone 5s the A7, with its own custom-designed cores using ARM's 64-bit instruction set, the first mobile processor to do so. The actual 64-bitness of the chip, so far, has a minimal impact on performance. But the shift to ARM64 let Apple exploit a bunch of other changes ARM introduced, and make a number of changes of its own. The result was a dramatic performance gain.

 

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